Tory council leader calls for Boris Johnson to quit after party suffers humiliating defeat in local election

People don’t have “confidence that the prime minister can be relied upon to tell the truth”

Boris Johnson scratching his head

A Tory council leader has called for Boris Johnson to quit after his party suffered a humiliating defeat in the local elections.

Carlisle City Council leader John Mallinson said that people don’t have “confidence that the prime minister can be relied upon to tell the truth”, after the Labour Party won control of a new unitary authority in Cumberland.

Mallinson told the BBC: “”I don’t think any one person is responsible for everything, but he [Boris] does seem to be attracting a lot of unrest and ill feeling at the moment”. Mallinson also took aim at the Environment Secretary George Eustice, adding: “I don’t think it was helping to get comments from people like George Eustice talking about people using value brands to ease their shopping bills. That just seems to have come over very patronising.”

Asked if he thought Conservative MPs should oust the PM, Mallinson said: “That would be my preference, yes.”

Mallinson was not the only one to launch a scathing attack on Johnson. Following a disastrous set of results for the Tories last night, a number of local leaders have criticised their party leader.

It was a disastrous night for the Tories in London, where Labour has taken control of hugely significant councils in Wandsworth, Barnet and Westminster. Labour gains in London are unprecedented – it has never held Barnet and Westminster (since their creation in 1964) and Wandsworth, Margaret Thatcher’s favourite council, has been Tory since 1978.

Politico reported that outgoing Wandsworth council leader Ravi Govindia said local voters were generally happy with local services, but “other events have clouded the judgment of people … consistently on the doorstep the issue of Boris Johnson was raised.”

In Portsmouth, where the party lost four seats, Tory leader Simon Bosher said the leadership in Westminster needed to “take a good, long hard look in the mirror”.

Basit Mahmood is editor of Left Foot Forward

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