Britain: Conservative crisis after election defeat


Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s Conservative Party lost two seats in the by-elections, prompting the resignation of the party president and fueling concerns about the viability of the Johnson administration.

The losses – in a traditional South Conservative stronghold, as well as in a seat in the north of England which the Conservatives had won in the last Labor election – show that the electoral coalition formed by Johnson in the 2019 parliamentary elections is beginning to disintegrate. .

The transformation of Johnson from a politician who wins votes to an electoral weight, can make the MPs move against him again after a series of scandals and while the popular discomfort for the increase of the cost of living is growing.

Johnson has resisted strong pressure to resign after being fined for breaking Lockdown rules in his Downing Street office. He had also rejected the idea of ​​resigning if his ruling party lost the so-called by-elections.

“It is absolutely true that we had some difficult results in the by-elections … I think as a government I have to listen to what people are saying, especially the difficulties they face with the cost of living, which I think is the number one issue for most people, “Johnson said after the results.

“We have to recognize that there is more we need to do … we will continue to address the concerns of the people until we get through this difficult period,” he added.

Johnson is currently in Rwanda for a Commonwealth summit.

He survived a Conservative vote of confidence in his government this month, although 41% of his fellow parliamentarians voted in favor of his ouster, and a committee is investigating whether he deliberately misled parliament.

After the losses in Tiverton and Χόνιτον in southern England and in Wakefield in the north, Conservative leader Oliver Duden has resigned, saying things need to change.

“Yesterday’s by-elections are the latest in a series of very bad results for our party. “Our supporters are saddened and disappointed by the recent events and I share their feelings,” Duden said in a letter of resignation to Johnson.

“We can not continue as if nothing happened. “Someone has to take responsibility and I came to the conclusion that, in these circumstances, it would not be right for me to remain in office.”

Conservative lawmakers on Twitter voiced their support for Dowden, saying he was not to blame for the results in messages showing a resurgence of controversy in Johnson’s leadership.

Although Conservative rules may not be tabled for a year against Johnson, lawmakers fearing for their own future may decide to shorten the grace period to trigger a new vote.

A wave of resignations by Johnson’s ruling group of top ministers is seen as another way in which the prime minister could be forced to resign.

The next national elections are scheduled for 2024, but could be called earlier, according to Reuters.


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