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UK Conservative Party chairman quits after crushing by-election defeats

UK Conservative Party chairman quits after crushing by-election defeats

Issued on: 24/06/2022 – 08:19

Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s Conservative Party was defeated in two parliamentary by-elections on Friday, prompting the resignation of the party’s chairman and renewing speculation about the future of Britain’s embattled leader.

The losses – one in the Conservatives‘ traditional southern heartlands and in a northern England seat won from Labour in the last election – suggest that the electoral coalition Johnson brought together at the 2019 national election may be fracturing.

The transformation of Johnson from vote winner to electoral liability may prompt lawmakers to move against him again after months of scandal over lockdown parties and amid a growing cost-of-living crisis.

Johnson has come under intense pressure to resign after he was fined for breaking Covid-19 lockdown rules after a police investigation into gatherings at his Downing Street offices.

This month he survived a vote of confidence by Conservative lawmakers, though 41% of his parliamentary colleagues voted to oust him, and he is under investigation by a committee over whether he intentionally misled Parliament.

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Following the losses in Tiverton and Honiton and Wakefield, Conservative Party Chairman Oliver Dowden resigned, saying things had to change in the party.

“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,” Dowden said in a resignation letter to Johnson.

“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…

Read full article on www.france24.com