North Shropshire result shows ‘voters do care about barefaced lies’ says Welsh Labour chair of Standards Committee
Chris Bryant, the Rhondda MP who is chair of the Commons’ Standards Committee, has said that the North Shropshire result shows that voters do care about the scandals engulfing the Conservative party.
The Liberal Democrats won the seat where the Tories had a majority of 23,000 by a margin of nearly 6,000 votes.
The by-election took place in the former seat of Owen Paterson, who resigned from the House of Commons last month amid controversy surrounding a report by the Parliamentary Commissioner for Standards that found that he had broken paid advocacy rules.
But the result also came after a few weeks in which the UK Government has been engulfed in a continued lobbying scandal and questions around whether party and government staff held Christmas parties while the rest of the country was in lockdown.
Taking to social media after the result was announced, Chris Bryant said: “Contrary to what every commentator told me for months, voters do care about corruption, peddling influence for paying clients, protecting your mates when they’ve done wrong, barefaced lies and one rule for them and another for the rest of us.”
He said that the by-election all started with Boris Johnson defending Owen Paterson “in an extraordinarily ill-judged move. It was a clear example of a broken moral compass.”
In her victory speech the winning Liberal Democrat candidate, Helen Morgan, a 46-year-old accountant and parish councillor, said that Conservative voters had been “dismayed by Boris Johnson’s lack of decency and fed up with being taken for granted”.
“Tonight, the people of North Shropshire have spoken on behalf of the British people,” she said. “They have said loudly and clearly: Boris Johnson, the party is over.
“Our country is crying out for leadership. Mr Johnson, you are no leader.”
The Conservative candidate Dr Neil Shastri-Hurst pointed to the fact that after 11 years in government it was not a surprise that the UK Government were losing byelections.