- Tories will have to make “difficult decisions” about Boris Johnson’s future, a senior MP has said.
- Geoffrey Clifton-Brown said “serious discussions” would take place following “dire” by-election results.
- Oliver Dowden has quit as Conservative Party chairman, citing multiple “poor results” at the polls.
The Conservative Party will hold “serious discussions” about the future of Boris Johnson, after losing two by-elections, a senior MP has said.
Sir Geoffrey Clifton-Brown, Treasurer of the 1922 committee, said votes in Wakefield and Tiverton & Honiton had yielded “pretty dire results” which “call into question the direction of the government at the present time”.
Clifton-Brown, who voted against Johnson in a recent confidence vote, sidestepped questions about whether the prime minister had his support, saying “as a democrat, at the moment, I abide by those results”.
He added “But clearly serious discussions will be had in the next few days and weeks and then we will all have to make difficult decisions.”
Several Tories have renewed calls for Johnson to resign Friday morning, after Oliver Dowden resigned as Conservative Party chairman, saying: “We cannot carry on with business as usual. Somebody must take responsibility.”
Dowden’s letter makes no mention of support for the prime minister, but only his loyalty to the party.
Speaking from Kigali, Rwanda, Johnson vowed to “listen to what people are saying”, but played down suggestions that partygate was a factor, instead blaming mid-term blues and the economy.