The Tories are showing more and more signs of crumbling as a party after culture secretary Nadine Dorries was kicked out of a Conservative Whatsapp group for praising “hero” prime minister Boris Johnson.
But despite Dorries’ insistence towards her Tory colleagues that they should show “a bit of loyalty” to the person who “delivered Brexit”, Brexit secretary David Frost’s resignation puts the departure from the EU and the party unity into question.
The two major Tories come to the centre of attention in the same week as the party lost its safe seat in the North Shropshire by-election, with Lib Dem Helen Morgan becoming the first non-Conservative MP elected in the area since the seat was created in 1983.
Brexiteer Steve Baker removes Nadine Dorries for ‘Brexit hero’ claim
Dorries was removed from the 100-strong Tory Whatsapp group after saying “the hero is the prime minister who delivered Brexit’.
“I’m aware as someone said today that regicide is in the DNA of the Conservative party, but a bit of loyalty to the person who won an 83 majority and delivered Brexit wouldn’t go amiss,” she added.
Former chair of pro-Brexit European Research Group Steve Baker immediately removed Dorries from the group, adding: “Enough is enough”, before another MP added it was “about time”.
Meanwhile, voters from across the political spectrum are unimpressed by Boris Johnson’s Brexit deal as its ramifications become clear, according to a new study.
Both Brexiteers and Remainers are now more likely to say believe Britain got a bad deal with the EU than in January, according to the National Centre for Social Research (NatCen).
Voter polls show discontent with Tories and Brexit
The study revealed that while 21 per cent of people thought the UK got a good deal in January, the figure dropped to only 12 per cent in August.
Last week, Boris Johnson suffered the biggest rebellion he faced in his time as prime minister, because of the introduction of Covid passports in some indoor venues – but managed to pass the new rules with 369 votes, out of which 142 were from Labour.
On the same week, Labour registered its highest lead in polls since 2014, and gained a nine-point lead ahead of the Tories, following several voter polls placing Labour ahead of Tories over the past few weeks.
The catastrophic figures come after it emerged that last December, several Christmas parties involving government officials took place whilst the country faced restrictions – with one social gathering allegedly having taken place at Downing Street, with dozens in attendance. The prime minister, senior ministers and Number 10 all denied Covid rules were broken.
Over the past few months, the Tories were also central to a series of sleaze scandals, including an attempt to protect former Tory MP Owen Paterson by ripping up the independent standards system holding the government to account.
Related: Labour hits highest lead in voter polls since 2014 as Tories reach new lows
Leavers increasingly unimpressed by Johnson’s Brexit deal, poll shows