Boris wont be leader Death knell sounded for Johnson’s time in No 10 come next election

Boris Johnson reacts to 'mixed' local election results

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The Prime Minister has described the local election results as a “mixed” bag, but asserted that the Conservative Party has had “remarkable gains” in some areas in England. In other parts of the country, it had been “tough”, he conceded. He said that the message he received from the results is that people want him to get on with “the big issues that matter to them”.

Labour leader Keir Starmer interpreted the results slightly differently and said they were a “big turning point” for his party ready for the next General Election.

Three crucial London councils, Wandsworth, Westminster and Barnet turned red — the former two for the first time since 1978 and 1964 respectively.

Now, figures from across the political spectrum have reiterated calls voiced in recent months that Mr Johnson must be ousted from his role as Prime Minister.

Liberal Democrat leader Ed Davey said it was time for Conservative MPs “to plunge [Boris Johnson] into the abyss”.

Steven Fielding, a commentator and Professor of Political History at the University of Nottingham, said if Tory MPs found “their backbone”, Mr Johnson would not be their leader come the next General Election.

He told “The Conservatives are only five points behind — that’s bad, but it’s not disastrous.

“If they were ten points then maybe it would give those Conservative MPs some moral backbone and the incentive to take decisive action [and challenge Mr Johnson].

“But at the moment they haven’t got someone to mobilise behind, and nobody’s brave enough to put their head above the parapet.

“Someone like Liz Truss needs to resign from the Cabinet saying ‘this is no longer good enough’ then they’ll all flock to her or whoever might do that.

“Boris Johnson is so toxic he’s encouraging people to seriously think about voting for other parties — which they are.

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“Whether people are voting for the Lib Dems or Labour, it’s bad news for the Conservatives.

“We’re two years away from the next general election, and if Conservative MPs find their backbone we will have a different leader who will try to change the current course.”

He noted that, by this time, the country — and the world — will still be in a precarious situation.

Prof Fielding continued: “We’ll still be going through it all — the Ukraine war isn’t going to disappear anytime soon, and the economic disaster is going to be with us for some time.

“We could still be going through economic hardship when the election comes, and unless the Government resets its approach to price rises and a recession, this will slowly see Conservative support slip away towards Labour and the Lib Dems.”


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Local Tory leaders have urged Mr Johnson to consider his position after the party lost its flagship councils in London to Labour, and some seats across the south of England to the Liberal Democrats.

Several have explicitly named Partygate as the reason voters turned their backs on the Tories.

John Mallinson, the former leader of Carlisle City Council, told the BBC he had “lost some very good colleagues” in the Cumberland local election, and had found it “difficult to drag the debate back to local issues” while campaigning because of Partygate and the cost of living crisis.

He also criticised the “patronising” comments of George Eustice, the Environment Secretary, who had suggested that people struggling to buy food should buy value brand products.

He added: “I think it is not just Partygate, there is the integrity issue.

“Basically I just don’t feel people any longer have the confidence that the Prime Minister can be relied upon to tell the truth.”

Asked if Conservative MPs should remove Mr Johnson, he said: “That would be my preference, yes.”

Simon Bosher, the most senior Tory in Portsmouth, where the Lib Dems have now claimed a majority of seats, said the leadership in Westminster needed to “take a good, long hard look in the mirror” to find out why it had lost four seats.

Asked if he meant Mr Johnson, he said: “I think Boris does need to take a good, strong look in the mirror as well because I think he needs to look at those people that we have lost tonight … because those are people that are actually bearing the brunt on the doorstep of behaviour of what’s been going on in Westminster.”

Ravi Govindia, the outgoing Conservative leader of Wandsworth council, admitted that voters had raised “the issue of Boris Johnson”, and that “inevitably other events have clouded the judgement of people in Wandsworth”.

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