Tiverton and Honiton & Wakefield aftershocks: Dowden goes (updated)

There will be news breaking throughout the day as the political establishment cogitates on the results of by-elections and fallout begins.

The first Conservative to fall on his sword is Oliver Dowden, until this morning chairman of the Conservative Party. He told Boris Johnson earlier this morning:

“Yesterday’s parliament by-elections are the latest in a run of very poor results for our party. Our voters are distressed and disappointed by recent events and I share their feelings. 

“We cannot continue with business as usual. Somebody must take responsibility and I have concluded that in these circumstances it would not be right for me to stay in office.”

Is Dowden a sacrifice to distract attention from the failures of Boris Johnson or are Conservatives finally saying enough is enough and walking away from the chaos at the head of the party and government?

Boris Johnson’s formulaic response seems to ignore that main point of Dowden’s letter, that “our supporters are distressed and disappointed by recent events”.

* Andy Boddington is a Lib Dem councillor in Shropshire. He blogs at andybodders.co.uk. He is Thursday editor of Lib Dem Voice.

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2 Comments

  • “Somebody must take responsibility”. Those words feel kind of loaded, somehow! But we all know they won’t trouble the UK PM’s conscience.

  • Ashley Pragnell 24th Jun '22 - 1:01pm

    I think another by election is highly likely in Somerton and Frome. Warburton may be forced out. My Aunts niece Sarah Dyke, is already selected for the Lib Dems to fight the seat! This seat was Lib Dem for 18 years. I could see this one going to the Lib Dems. Sarah Dyke is a high value candidate with plenty council experience. She is also of farming stock. Her family have been farming in Somerset and North Dorset for 250 years. The ideal candidate for one of the largest rural constituencies in England.

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