Tory chair quits after spectacular by-election losses for Conservatives in Wakefield and Tiverton and Honiton

Labour gained Wakefield from the Tories with a 12% swing, with the Lib Dems gaining Tiverton and Honiton with an almost 30% swing,

Oliver Dowden

Tory Party chair Oliver Dowden has quit after the Conservatives suffered humiliating by-election defeats in both Wakefield and Tiverton and Honiton today.

Labour gained Wakefield from the Tories with a 12% swing, with the Lib Dems gaining Tiverton and Honiton with an almost 30% swing, with the latter representing the biggest numerical majority ever overturned in a by-election (24,239).

Lib Dem Richard Foord now becomes the MP for Tiverton and Honiton with a majority of 6,144 and he used his acceptance speech to call for Boris Johnson “to go, and go now”.

Following Labour’s victory in Wakefield, Keir Starmer said: “Wakefield has shown the country has lost confidence in the Tories. This result is a clear judgement on a Conservative Party that has run out of energy and ideas.”

After the humiliating losses, Tory chair Dowden said that things had to change in the party. He said: “Yesterday’s parliamentary by-elections are the latest in a run of very poor results for our party. Our supporters are distressed and disappointed by recent events, and I share their feelings”.

“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.”

The losses come after months of scathing criticism of the prime minister after it was found there had been widespread rule breaking in Downing Street, with Johnson breaking the law himself, and the prime minister surviving a no-confidence vote, albeit with his authority irreparably damaged.

The latest results will undoubtedly lead to further pressure piling on the prime minister and calls for him to quit among Tory critics, as Johnson becomes an electoral liability for the Tories.

Basit Mahmood is editor of Left Foot Forward

As you’re here, we have something to ask you. What we do here to deliver real news is more important than ever. But there’s a problem: we need readers like you to chip in to help us survive. We deliver progressive, independent media, that challenges the right’s hateful rhetoric. Together we can find the stories that get lost.

We’re not bankrolled by billionaire donors, but rely on readers chipping in whatever they can afford to protect our independence. What we do isn’t free, and we run on a shoestring. Can you help by chipping in as little as £1 a week to help us survive? Whatever you can donate, we’re so grateful - and we will ensure your money goes as far as possible to deliver hard-hitting news.

Comments are closed.