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British Conservative Party leader resigns after election debacle

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“Very poor results” in two constituencies led to the resignation of party chairman Oliver Dowden. In this way, the Conservatives again lost a couple of seats, one historically Conservative. The other had been a surprise and praised conquest of Boris Johnson during his 2019 campaign. This situation further undermines the figure of the prime minister, already hit by the ‘Partygate’ scandal.

The president of the Conservative Party, Oliver Dowden, announced his resignation this Friday, June 24, after the heavy falls of the bloc in the parliamentary by-elections that took place in the constituencies of Tiverton and Honiton and Wakefield.

These “very poor results” meant the loss of two seats in the chamber, with the aggravating circumstance that one, Tiverton and Honiton, was in a town historically dominated by the Conservatives. The Liberal Democrats won the seat in the south-west England city by 6,000 votes.

While that of Wakefield implies the restoration of Labor supremacy in that constituency of the English north that was awarded for 5,000 favorable votes. She was made a ‘tory’ after a very good campaign by Boris Johnson during the 2019 elections.

“Yesterday’s election is the latest in a string of very poor results for our party,” Dowden said in the resignation letter he gave the prime minister. “Our supporters are distraught and disappointed by recent events and I share their sentiments,” he added.

In his letter, Dowden stated that they cannot continue “business as usual” and that “someone must take responsibility.”

“In these circumstances, it would not be right for me to continue in office,” he concluded.

The benches had to be submitted to elections again after the resignation of the two conservative parliamentarians.

On the one hand, Wakefield’s representative, Imran Khan, was sentenced to 18 months in prison for sexual assault against a teenager. Meanwhile, the sixty-year-old Neil Parish, from Tiverton and Honiton, had to resign after admitting that he saw pornography during a session of Parliament.

Johnson, more and more against the wall

The Prime Minister’s situation is becoming more and more delicate in his post, which he will not resign, as he has repeatedly said. In fact, last Thursday he stated that he did not contemplate stepping aside in the face of an adverse result.

Boris Johnson expressed this Friday that he must “listen to the message of the people” after a new electoral coup. “We have to recognize that there is more we have to do and we certainly will, we will continue to address people’s concerns until we get through this rut,” he promised.

However, the electoral setbacks increased the pressure on his figure, which has been in decline, not only for citizens but also within his own party, due to the ‘Partygate’ scandals and the frustrated measure of referring immigrants towards Rwanda.

In this file photo taken on October 6, 2021, British Prime Minister Boris Johnson gestures as he delivers his keynote address on the last day of the Conservative Party's annual Conference at the Manchester Central convention center in Manchester, northwest England.
In this file photo taken on October 6, 2021, British Prime Minister Boris Johnson gestures as he delivers his keynote address on the last day of the Conservative Party’s annual Conference at the Manchester Central convention center in Manchester, northwest England. AFP – OLI SCARFF

The two victorious MPs urged the premier to resign and the leader of the Labor Party, Keir Stramer, took advantage of the circumstances to attack again. “This result is a clear verdict on a Conservative Party that is running out of energy and ideas,” he said.

In addition, Stramer stressed the importance of the victory at Wakefield, where Labor regained supremacy. He called it a sign that “the country has lost faith in the Conservatives” and may be “the birthplace of the next Labor government.”

For his part, Ed Davey – Liberal Democrat leader – said his party made “political history” with the “impressive victory” in Tiverton and Honiton, a historically conservative space. In turn, he expressed that this is “a wake-up call for parliamentarians who support Boris Johnson.”

“The public is fed up with Johnson’s lies and breaches of the law, and it is time for Conservative MPs to finally do the right thing and fire him.”

The prime minister’s backing is dwindling. The Conservative Party continues to lose seats in partial elections and the members of the bloc themselves disbelieve in the figure of Johnson: more than 40% did not accompany him in the motion of censure carried out this year.

With Reuters and AFP

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Written by Editor TLN

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