Johnson’s Conservatives reel from double by-election defeat

London, Jun 24 (EFE).- British prime minister Boris Johnson on Friday said he would listen to the message sent by voters after his Conservative Party suffered a double by-election blow to lose two seats in England.

The Tories lost the northern English constituency of Wakefield to the Labour Party and, more shockingly, the Conservative Party safe seat Tiverton and Honiton to the Liberal Democrats.

Reacting to the results during an official trip to Rwanda, Johnson said the losses were a “reflection of a lot of things but we’ve got to recognize that voters are going through a tough time at the moment.”

He added: “I think that as a government I’ve got to listen to what people are saying, in particular to the difficulties people are facing over the cost of living.

“We’ve got to recognise there is more we’ve got to do and we certainly will, we will keep going, addressing the concerns of people until we get through this patch.”

Conservative Party co-chair Oliver Dowden resigned after the by-election results came in.

“We cannot carry on with business as usual. Somebody must take responsibility and I have concluded that, in these circumstances, it would not be right for me to remain in office,” he said in a letter to the PM.

The poor results for Johnson’s government follow a string of controversies ranging from Downing Street parties held during Covid-19 lockdowns to a controversial and multi million pound deal to offshore asylum processing to Rwanda.

Labour Party leader Keir Starmer said the result in Wakefield brought his party closer to forming the United Kingdom’s next government.

Wakefield, a traditional Labour seat in the so-called red wall, was won by the Conservatives in the 2019 general election. The by-election was triggered following the resignation of former Member of Parliament Imran Ahmad Khan after he was convicted of sexual assault.

The vote in Tiverton and Honiton took place after Tory MP Neil Parish resigned after admitting to watching pornography in the House of Commons. EFE


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