Boris Johnson says he will ‘move on’ after devastating by-election results.
The Prime Minister defied calls to leave after the Tories lost Wakefield, Tiverton and Honiton in the most painful night of a by-election since John Major in 1991
Defiant Boris Johnson has said he will “move on” after the Tories suffered a devastating double defeat in the by-election.
The PM has defied calls for his resignation after losing Wakefield to Labor and Tiverton and Honiton to the Lib Dems in a bloody night.
He had already told Der Spiegel before the result that it would be “crazy” of him to resign if he lost both polls.
But that comment came under fresh pressure this morning when Conservative Party leader Oliver Dowden resigned.
In a searing letter – minutes before he was due to defend the Prime Minister in national media – Mr Dowden said someone had to take responsibility, adding: “We cannot carry on as usual.” He pointedly added that he would remain loyal – to the Conservative Party.
No incumbent prime minister has lost two by-elections in a single day since Tory John Major in 1991, and the Lib Dems said Tiverton and Honiton were the most dramatic upsets of a result in by-election history.
Speaking to broadcasters in Kigali, the prime minister said: “It is absolutely true that we have had some tough by-election results.
“They reflected a lot of things, I think, but we have to recognize that voters are going through a difficult time at the moment.
“I think as a government I have to listen to what people are saying, particularly the difficulties that people are facing in relation to the cost of living, which I think is the number one problem for most people.
“We’re now under pressure on the cost of living, we’re seeing spikes in fuel prices, energy costs, food costs – it’s hitting people.
“We have to recognize that we still have to do more and we certainly will. We will continue to address people’s concerns until we get through this patch.”
Boris Johnson woke up 4,000 miles from home today to see the devastating results.
The Prime Minister will address the opening ceremony of the Commonwealth Heads of Government meeting in Rwanda – along with dignitaries from 54 nations and Prince Charles.
He was supposed to talk to broadcasters and give a press conference in the capital, Kigali.
On a dramatic night, Labor retook the Red Wall seat in Wakefield and the Liberal Democrats toppled a 24,000 Tory majority in Tiverton and Honiton.
Labor leader Keir Starmer said the country had lost faith in the Tories and said the Conservatives were “running out of energy and ideas”.
He said: “Wakefield has shown that the country has lost faith in the Tories.
“This result is a clear verdict on a conservative party that has run out of energy and ideas. Britain deserves better. Wakefield voted for Labor because we have the solutions to the challenges facing the British people.
“The Labor Party is back on the side of working people, winning seats where we lost before and ready to govern.”
Liberal Democrat leader Sir Ed Davey said: “The Liberal Democrats made political history with this overwhelming victory. It is the biggest post-election victory our country has ever seen.
“This should be a wake-up call for all the Conservative MPs supporting Boris Johnson. You can’t afford to ignore this result.”
At Wakefield, Simon Lightwood was elected to the Yorkshire seat by a majority of 4,925, with a 12.7% move from Tories to Labour.
Former Wakefield MP Imran Ahmad Khan resigned after he was found guilty of sexually assaulting a 15-year-old boy – a crime for which he was sentenced to 18 months in prison.
Wakefield was one of the Red Wall seats won by the Tories in the 2019 election, having been Labor since the 1930s.
Mr Lightwood said: “The people of Wakefield have spoken on behalf of the British people. You said unreservedly: Boris Johnson, your contempt for this country will no longer be tolerated.”
In a flurry of excitement, the Liberal Democrats ousted a 24,000 Tory majority to win in Tiverton and Honiton.
The contest for the Devon seat was sparked by the resignation of Conservative Neil Parish after admitting he had seen pornography on his mobile phone in the House of Commons.
With a dramatic switch of almost 30% from the Tories to the Liberal Democrats, Richard Foord secured a majority of 6,144 votes.
The new Lib Dem MP used his acceptance speech to urge Mr Johnson to “go and go now” and claimed his victory “sent a shockwave through British politics”.
https://www.mirror.co.uk/news/politics/breaking-boris-johnson-says-keep-27316068 Boris Johnson says he will 'move on' after devastating by-election results.