Boris Johnson faces pressure from the Tory to focus on the southern heartland after the by-election test
Concerned MPs in southern counties will put pressure on the prime minister not to focus too much on the Red Wall at the expense of traditional strongholds, Der Spiegel understands
Tory MPs in the Conservative heartland will demand Boris Johnson pay more attention to party strongholds after a difficult by-election.
The prime minister will wake up 4,000 miles from home with two election results that could decide his tenure as prime minister.
Mr Johnson will address the opening ceremony of the Commonwealth Heads of Government meeting in Rwanda – joined by dignitaries from 54 nations and Prince Charles – followed by a press conference.
But hours before he takes the stage, the results of elections in Wakefield, West Yorks, and Tiverton and Honiton, Devon, were due.
The Mirror understands that worried MPs in southern counties will put pressure on the Prime Minister not to focus too much on the Red Wall at the expense of traditional strongholds.
There is growing uneasiness among some Conservatives that Mr Johnson has neglected the party’s staunch supporters as he seeks to woo recent converts in the North and Midlands, who pushed the Tories to an 80-seat majority in December 2019 general election brought.
Lib Dem pressures in the South West and Home Counties have startled some Tory MPs who fear being ousted in the next general election.
The Lib Dems have taken two Conservative strongholds in the past year – overturning a 16,223 Tory majority to win last June’s Chesham and Amersham by-elections by 8,028 votes, and then winning the North Shropshire by-election in which the Tories had a 22,949 majority to 5,925 votes in December.
A Conservative in a traditional Shire seat told the Mirror: “I think the Red Wall is probably finding out that from the perspective of the northern center of power it’s not quite the center of attention it was promised in the 2019 election.
“But it still leaves the South West and Tory rural heartland in the shadows.
“With Chesham and Amersham falling by the wayside and then North Shropshire, I’m afraid Boris will learn the lesson that you can’t ignore your home territory.”
Earlier this month, four out of 10 Tory MPs attempted to oust Mr Johnson, with the Prime Minister surviving a 211-148 vote of confidence by Conservative MPs.
According to current rules, he is safe from another internal vote of confidence until June 2023.
But conspirators have discussed shortening the stay of execution until December.
The Prime Minister refused to say whether he would back a rule change, dismissing “Westminster issues”.
The by-elections are the first test of opinion since the confidence vote.
The Wakefield election was sparked by the resignation of Tory Imran Ahmed Khan, who resigned as MP after being convicted of groping a teenager. He is appealing his conviction.
The Devon election was called after MP Neil Parish resigned after admitting to watching porn in the House of Commons.
https://www.mirror.co.uk/news/politics/boris-johnson-faces-tory-pressure-27312351 Boris Johnson faces pressure from the Tory to focus on the southern heartland after the by-election test