Tory chairman Oliver Dowden resigns after election defeats in Wakefield and Tiverton & Honiton

Disputes at Wakefield and Tiverton and Honiton were sparked by the resignation of disgraced Tories. The secondary elections offered voters the chance to cast their verdict on the prime minister just weeks after 41% of their own lawmakers voted against him.

Conservative Party chairman Oliver Dowden resigned after the party suffered two stinging defeats in elections this morning.

In Tiverton and Honiton, the Liberal Democrats toppled a majority of 24,000 Conservatives to win, while Labor regained Wakefield with a surprising 12% swing.

The disputes, sparked by the resignation of disgraced Conservatives, offered voters the chance to give their verdict on the prime minister just weeks after 41% of their own lawmakers voted against him.

In his resignation letter to the prime minister, Dowden said: “Yesterday’s parliamentary elections are the latest in a series of very bad results for our party,” Dowden wrote in a letter to the prime minister.

“Our fans are distressed and disappointed by recent events, and I share their feelings.



Wiktor Szymanowicz / REX / Shutterstock)

“We cannot carry on with business as usual. Someone must take responsibility, and I concluded that, under these circumstances, it would not be right for me to remain in office.”

Dowden’s remarks are strikingly different in tone from the words he used before the prime minister’s vote of no confidence.

Ahead of the vote, he tweeted: “I will vote for Boris Johnson in the confidence vote tonight.

“He has shown real leadership in getting the big calls right as prime minister – Brexit, vaccines, reopening and Ukraine.

“I hope that after this vote we can come together and focus on the future. We will face the great challenges united and focused on delivery.”

Boris Johnson speaking at a Business Forum in Kigali, Rwanda



Liberal Democrats said Foord toppled the biggest majority in midterm election history.

It was the sixth biggest blow against a government since 1945 in secondary elections in which both the chair and the incumbent changed hands.

The new Lib Dem MP at Tiverton & Honiton used his acceptance speech to urge Johnson to “go, and go now”, claiming that his victory “sent a shockwave through British politics”.

Richard Foord said: “The people of Tiverton and Honiton spoke for Britain. They sent a message loud and clear – it’s time for Boris Johnson to go, and go now.”

He said that “every day Boris Johnson clings to the post, it brings more shame, chaos and neglect”.

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