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It’s Game Over Rishi Sunak – Why not call a General Election?

The reality after losing the by-elections in Tamworth and Mid Bedfordshire last week is grim for Rishi Sunak… writes Kishan Devani BEM, FRSA

As Sir Keir Starmer, leader of the Labour Party said recently – Rishi Sunak is “completely wrong” to say nobody wants a general election actually “What he really meant was he’s not happy to go to the electorate because he thinks he will lose.”

The reality after losing the by-elections in Tamworth and Mid Bedfordshire last week is grim for Rishi Sunak. The Conservative Party suffered crushing defeats in electoral contests for two of its safest parliamentary seats, sending an ominous signal to Prime Minister Rishi Sunak about his chances of holding onto power in the next general election. The Tories are heading for a 1997-style defeat, Rishi Sunak needs to wake up and smell the coffee, after two historic by-election losses. 

Prof John Curtice said Labour’s shock wins in Tamworth and Mid Bedfordshire meant the Tories had not seen such poor by-election results since the run-up to Tony Blair’s 1997 general election landslide. Sir John warned that without a “dramatic” turnaround, Sunak’s party is on course for a huge defeat – predicting that Sir Keir Starmer’s Labour Party could claim an even bigger win than under Tony Blair in 1997.

Labour overcame a 24,664 majority to win Mid Bedfordshire, marking the largest Conservative numerical majority overturned in the U.K. by the main opposition party since 1945.

In Tamworth, the 23.9-point swing from Conservative to Labour represented the second-largest percentage overturn of its kind since 1945 and took on what was a 66% Conservative majority in the 2019 general election.

Mr Sunak has to go to the country by January 2025 at the latest, but spring or autumn 2024 are more likely options. But why not do it now? Spare everyone the continuing incompetence, division, empty words, nonsensical policies & complete and utter disregard for the problems facing communities across our country. Do us all a favour and call a General Election – if you are so confident that you will win and the Conservatives will continue their campaign of dividing our nation – then please go ahead and call one. The electorate are now fed up of this populist, slogan led, empty and hollow government. It is this that the Conservatives and Mr Sunak obviously know and hence are not calling the General Election our country desperately needs.

ALSO READ: ‘Rishi Sunak Does Not Represent Us’

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Boris Johnson resigns as MP

In his resignation statement issued on Friday, Johnson described the committee as a “kangaroo court” whose purpose “from the beginning has been to find me guilty, regardless of the facts”, reports Asian Lite News

Former UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson has stepped down as a Tory MP after claiming that he was “forced out of Parliament” over Partygate.

The former Prime Minister saw in advance a report by the Commons Privileges Committee investigating if he misled the Commons over Downing Street lockdown parties, the BBC reported.

Johnson said that he was “bewildered and appalled” after receiving a letter from the from a House of Commons committee, CNN reported.

His resignation now triggers a by-election in his marginal seat.

The Privileges Committee said that Johnson had called into question the integrity of the House of Commons, the British news broadcaster reported.

The MP-led committee – which has a majority of Conservative MPs – said it would conclude its inquiry on Monday and “publish its report promptly”.

In his resignation statement issued on Friday, Johnson described the committee as a “kangaroo court” whose purpose “from the beginning has been to find me guilty, regardless of the facts”.

Johnson previously admitted misleading Parliament when he gave evidence to the committee in a combative hearing in March – but denied doing it on purpose.

He said that social distancing had not been “perfect” at gatherings in Downing Street during Covid lockdowns but insisted the guidelines, as he understood them, were followed at all times.

ALSO READ: Sunak talks trade, AI and Ukraine on US trip

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‘Lib Dem Win A Warning Shot For Tories’

Writing in the Daily Telegraph, Amanda Milling said voters’ concerns were “loud and clear” after the Lib Dem won the Chesham and Amersham by-election.

The Conservative government has been sent a “warning shot” by voters over planning reforms for England and the HS2 rail link, the co-chairman of the party Amanda Milling has said.

The byelection saw a historic 25% swing to Liberal Democrats, enabling their newest MP Sarah Green to overturn a 16,000-majority in a constituency that had been Conservative since it was created in 1974, the Guardian reported.

Sarah Green won with 8,028 more votes than the Conservatives, with the Green Party in third place. Labour had the worst by-election result in the party’s history, with 622 votes, the BBC reported.

Writing in the Daily Telegraph, as quoted by BBC, Amanda Milling said voters’ concerns were “loud and clear” after the Lib Dems won the Chesham and Amersham by-election. She said the Conservatives would look at how they could regain their trust.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson (Pic Andrew Parsons No 10, Downing Street)

Milling says: “I am in no doubt that Thursday’s result is a warning shot and we are listening. And as co-chairman, I will ensure that we learn the lessons from this campaign.”

According to BBC report, local opposition to the HS2 high-speed rail line being built through the constituency and the government’s proposed changed to the planning system, which could see more homes being built in rural areas, were major factors in the poll.

Downing Street came under renewed pressure to ditch Johnson’s controversial planning reforms, which many blamed for the humiliating loss of the Buckinghamshire seat.

In her article, Milling says: “Over the coming weeks and months, we will take stock of what happened in Chesham and Amersham and look at how we can regain the trust of voters there.”

Lib Dem
Liberal Democrat leader Ed Davey

Addressing concerns the government’s focus on the so-called former red wall seats in the Midlands and North of England has left people in traditional “blue wall” Tory areas feeling left behind, Milling says the prime minister’s levelling up agenda “was a promise to people – North, South, East and West – to help them take the opportunities that our country and government can provide”, BBC reported.

Many Conservative MPs remain opposed to the plans and are using the by-election defeat to argue for a rethink before the government publishes draft legislation.

Earlier on Thursday, Prime Minister Boris Johnson described the result for his party as “disappointing”.

Appearing alongside Green at a victory rally in the Buckinghamshire constituency, Sir Ed Davey quoted as saying by BBC: “This is a great result, a huge swing to us. There are many Conservatives across the country who are now worried.

“People have been talking about a red wall, well after Chesham and Amersham and Sarah Green’s victory they’ll be talking about a blue wall, and how the Lib Dems are the main threat to the Conservatives.

“People here felt ignored and taken for granted, and we listened. Sarah Green is going to take these concerns to Parliament and hold this appalling Tory government to account,” he was quoted as saying.

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