++Breaking news++ Not one, but two by-elections!

After the news that Nadine Dorries is standing down as an MP, with immediate effect, we now hear that Boris Johnson is following her example and departing Westminster.

We can only speculate on the conversations the two of them have been having, but we do know that, to quote the BBC:

Mr Johnson accused the Commons inquiry of attempting to “drive me out”.

In a statement he said: “They have still not produced a shred of evidence that I knowingly or recklessly misled the Commons.”

In evidence given to the committee in March, Mr Johnson admitted misleading Parliament, but denied doing it on purpose.

In the statement issued after he stepped down on Friday evening, the former prime minister said: “I did not lie, and I believe that in their hearts the committee know it.”

“They know perfectly well that when I spoke in the Commons I was saying what I believed sincerely to be true and what I had been briefed to say, like any other minister,” he said.

Mr Johnson said he corrected the record as soon as possible, and said committee members “know that”.

Campaign teams are girding their loins as we speak, and those of you who love by-elections will be hearing shortly about where to go and what to do.


* Mary Reid is a contributing editor on Lib Dem Voice. She was a councillor in Kingston upon Thames, where she is still very active with the local party, and is the Hon President of Kingston Lib Dems.

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  • Johnson, yet another Conservative MP running away rather than facing “the will of the people”.

  • Richard O'Neill 9th Jun '23 - 9:30pm

    It feels like both seats are winnable in by-elections. I guess everyone’s question is what will Boris do next?

  • Peter Davies 9th Jun '23 - 10:14pm

    “My removal is the necessary first step”
    For once, I agree with Boris.

  • Mick Taylor 10th Jun '23 - 7:12am

    Once again, it’s everyone else’s fault and not his. It’s a suitable epitaph for a serial liar.
    I was a member of the campaign team in the Uxbridge by-election in 1973, when the former Liberal, Manuela Sykes failed in her attempt to become a Labour MP. Sadly, we didn’t win, but Graham Tope won Sutton and Cheam on the same day. I wonder if the posters on the railway bridge that were pasted on with an impenetrable mix of glue and size are still there?

  • David Goble 10th Jun '23 - 9:19am

    Boris Johnson, like Donald Trump, playing the card of being the everlasting, misunderstood victim!

  • Mick Taylor 10th Jun '23 - 9:40am

    I thought this clip from Carry on up the Kyber might be a suitable way to remember Johnson

  • I helped out in the 1997 Uxbridge by-election, very shortly after Blair’s election victory. Our candidate was one Keith Kerr (full name Kenneth Keith Karl Kerr; Labour threw everything at it but lost, perhaps because they ordered their popular GE candidate to step down and parachuted in favoured apparatchik Andy Slaughter (who later became MP for Hammersmith). The headline “Tories Slaughtered in Uxbridge” was not to be. The winning Tory, John Randall, was a respected local businessman.

  • @John Waller …

    With millions of missed GP & hospital appointments & the ramifications that will have .
    The lasting effects on mental health – not to mention the huge disruption to children’s education ..
    Ultimately over the years the lockdowns will be proven to be infinitely worse than the disease..

  • Ian Patterson 10th Jun '23 - 3:09pm

    Now a by election in Selby.

  • Peter Martin 11th Jun '23 - 9:35am

    @ John Waller,

    ” (Sunak‘s) eat out to help out’ caused more COVID than Johnson’s parties…”

    This is very likely true. However, as far as I know, Sunak wasn’t breaking any rules at the time.

    I’m no supporter of Sunak, however if you look back at what nearly everyone was saying in the Summer of 2020, with the infection rate down very low levels, it is apparent there was a general unjustified optimism.

    There was some criticism of the Economics of the “eat out to help out policy” but hardly anyone was saying we shouldn’t have relaxed the Covid restrictions in July/August that year. It was only in the Autumn when cases started to shoot up again that this started to change.

  • John Bicknell 13th Jun '23 - 7:04am

    There are early indications that Labour is going to campaign seriously in Mid-Beds, which is going to make it difficult for the Lib Dems to achieve the sort of result gained in the 3 other by election wins this parliament.

  • Yes John, but it was much the same at North Shropshire and if I recall Labour were in a slightly stronger position at the start of the at campaign, well on paper anyway and they did campaign, called the Lib Dem claims as false in one leaflet near to polling day. With the current prospective by election, Nadine has yet to actually resign, the media appears already to have identified the Lib Dems as the challengers, not the position at the start of the North Shropshire campaign and the betting odds speak for themselves, what is 2-5 on to win, Labour 8 -1 against.

  • Michael Cole 13th Jun '23 - 1:15pm

    Can someone please provide the links for donations to the three LD by-elections.

    Unable to find on the net or on LD sites.


  • Do not think we have a by election yet in Mid Beds, Nadine has to apply to the Chiltern Hundreds or the Manor of Northstead, paid Crown Offices, and I am unclear whether this has happened. Would not be surprised if she changed her mind again.

  • Michael Cole 13th Jun '23 - 6:43pm

    theakes: You make a valid point.

    But if she changes her mind that would demonstrate even more (if that’s possible) her contempt for the electorate.

  • Nonconformistradical 13th Jun '23 - 7:02pm

    Could it be that only 1 MP at a time can apply for either of the 2 stewardships?

    Browsing down the lists at https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_stewards_of_the_Chiltern_Hundreds and https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_stewards_of_the_Manor_of_Northstead there’s a dearth of multiple entries for any one date apart from 17/12/1985 when there was a batch of Unionist resignations.

    The former article states “Appointees to the Chiltern Hundreds are alternated with the Manor of Northstead, allowing two MPs to resign at once. When more than two MPs resign, such as the 1985 walkout of Ulster Unionist MPs, appointees are dismissed after a few hours to allow other resigning MPs to take their place.”- which accounts for the 17/12/1985 batches. The Unionists would have co-operated over this in 1985. Maybe neither johnson nor Adams is co-operating…..

  • Mick Scholes 16th Jun '23 - 10:51pm

    Shropshire North 2019 GE

    Conservative Owen Paterson Votes: 35,444 Vote share %: 62.7 Vote share change: +2.2
    Labour Graeme Currie Votes: 12,495 Vote share %: 22.1 Vote share change: -9.0
    Liberal Democrat Helen Morgan Votes: 5,643 Vote share %: 10.0 Vote share change: +4.7

    Selby & Ainsty 2019 GE

    Conservative Nigel Adams Votes: 33,995 Vote share %: 60.3 Vote share change: +1.5
    Labour Malik Rofidi Votes: 13,858 Vote share %: 24.6 Vote share change: -9.6
    Liberal Democrat Katharine Macy Votes: 4,842 Vote share %: 8.6 Vote share change: +4.5

    As noted in the by-election virtual HQ – https://www.facebook.com/groups/802371671204579/

    is there going to be federal party funding? Will this get full Federal Party support?

    Draw a line around York, Hull, Sheffield and Harrogate & Knaresborough and Selby is in the centre. Lots of northern activists within a 90 min drive. And it has been called.

  • John Bicknell 17th Jun '23 - 7:58am

    If, as appears likely, the by election in Mid Beds will be held at some later date than the other two (if at all), then the LDs have a dilemma. If all 3 had been held at the same time, I imagine their efforts would have been concentrated in Mid Beds. However, if they now only make token efforts in Selby and Uxbridge, allowing Labour to win the latter, and at least come close to winning in the former, whilst only getting a derisory vote themselves, then they risk starting the Mid Beds campaign, if it happens, on the back foot, with Labour looking and sounding far more confident. I note the point made by theakes above, that Labour ran an aggressive campaign in North Shrops, which is true, but I got the impression that this was an attitude taken by the local party, rather than a nationally co-ordinated effort. I would expect them to take a more high profile stance in Mid Beds, and I would hope that the LDs commit themselves to campaigning strongly in Selby, to avoid being seen as irrelevant.

  • Peter Davies 17th Jun '23 - 10:30am

    If we are not seriously trying to win Selby and Ainsty this time, we should be looking at the boundary commission report.

    The bulk of the seat will become Selby. The remainder will find itself in Wetherby & Easingwold (a large area including Tadcaster), Harrogate & Knaresborough (part of Claro ward) and Skipton & Ripon (a tiny part of Washburn ward).

    The new Selby is on similar boundaries to the old Selby where we got 14.8% in 2005. We got 17.7% in 2010 in Selby & Ainsty. That suggests that any limited campaign should focus on building for 2024 in the bits going into other seats. The only bits where we appear to have existing support are in the old Harrogate District wards of Claro and Marston Moor but our lack of support elsewhere may be down to the lack of a local presence and that’s something we can look to fix in a bye-election.

  • Peter Davies 17th Jun '23 - 10:32am

    I should have included Washburn as an area where we had some past support.

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