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New concerns for Johnson after the by-election

In the constituency of Tiverton and Honiton, southwest England, which has voted conservatively in every general election since the 19th century, the Conservative member has been replaced by a Liberal Democrat. In Wakefield, northern England, the Labor Party won the chair.

The loss was already being felt elsewhere in the party. The party secretary, Oliver Dowden, loyal to Johnson’s government from the start, resigned as a result of election losses.

“Someone must bear the responsibility and I have come to the conclusion that under these circumstances it would not be right for me to remain in office,” Dowden wrote in his resignation to the prime minister.

‘listens’ – but doesn’t leave

The results were predicted in advance. Johnson himself, who is in Rwanda for the Commonwealth meeting, said before the election that he did not plan to resign in the event of a loss.

The prime minister told British media he would “listen to what people are saying”, and “go ahead and respond to people’s concerns”.

fragile survival

Over the past eight months, Boris Johnson has been plagued by the so-called “Partygate” scandal. At Government Office 10 Downing Street, gatherings and celebrations were arranged during the pandemic when residents were expected to remain isolated in their homes.

An investigation of the parties, known as the “Sue Gray Report” after the official who carried it out, cited a lack of leadership and a “culture” of rule-breaking as the cause of the parties.

Then, on June 6, Johnson’s party submitted a motion of no-confidence against its leader. Johnson survived—but more than 40 percent of party comrades voted against him. Last week, Johnson’s ethics advisor Christopher Gedt also resigned.