The chairman of the British ruling Conservative Party resigned after being defeated twice in the by-elections, giving a new blow to the authority of Prime Minister Boris Johnson.
The Tories lost supporters of traditional conservative bases Tiberton and Honiton after showing the Liberal Democratic Party a nearly 30% variability. And Wakefield, one of the so-called “red wall” seats won by the Tories in the 2019 general election, returned to the Labor after a 12.7% change.
Oliver Dowden resigned as leader and said the by-elections were “the latest with very poor results for the party.”
In his resignation to Johnson, he wrote: You can’t continue your business as usual. Someone had to take responsibility and in this situation I concluded that it was not right for me to be in office. “
Dauden concludes the letter by saying: “I would like to emphasize that this is a very personal decision I made alone. As always, I will remain loyal to the Conservatives.”
In response, the Prime Minister told Dauden that he “completely” understood his disappointment with the outcome of the by-elections.
However, he emphasizes that “this government was elected on a historic mission more than two years ago,” and looks forward to “continuing to cooperate with it.”
Johnson, who is attending the federal summit in Rwanda, told broadcasters that he listened to voters but vowed to “continue” the government’s agenda.
“Defeated by sleepwalking”
The double defeat, which occurs just weeks after Johnson’s own parliamentarians cast a ballot against him in a vote of no confidence, has sparked a new call for his expulsion.
Former Conservative leader Michael Howard, who has never criticized Johnson frankly in the past, urged the Cabinet to consider resigning.
He told the BBC, “The party, and more importantly, the country will be better under new leadership.”
Sir Burwell of the Tories, who was the 10th chief of staff of Theresa May, said that if the Conservatives continue, they will be “defeated by sleepwalking in the next election.”
He said he was “very happy” with Dauden’s resignation, as his seniors at the party seemed to “finally” recognize this and do something about it.
He told Sky News that Johnson’s authority was “extremely diminished” and “leaked.”
PA Media contributed to this report.