Boris Johnson refuses to change after by-election defeats

Boris Johnson - Flickr

Prime Minister Boris Johnson has rejected suggestions that he would benefit from a ‘psychological transformation’ live on BBC Radio 4’s Today programme after disastrous results for the Conservative party in  by-elections held on 23rd June 2022.

The Tory party lost two parliamentary elections this week, in Wakefield and Tiverton and Honiton. This led to the resignation of the party’s chairman Oliver Dowden, who has acknowledged that “we cannot carry on with business as usual” in a letter he wrote to the UK’s Prime Minister.

Dowden claimed to be ‘distressed and disappointed’ at the party’s attitude to the by-elections and Johnson’s unwillingness to take responsibility for the events which have ensued.

Johnson has refused to quit his role as Prime Minister, despite comments he made criticising  Tony Blaire in 2006 for the same reason. Johnson called Blaire,  like “all politicians” a “master of procrastination” for whom “there is no day […] easier or more natural to postpone than the day of their own resignation.”

As The Guardian has reported, Johnson’s strategy to deal with his party’s defeat is to reform the UK’s ‘systems and economy’, but not himself. He then quickly changed the subject by bringing up the ongoing UK rail strikes.

Johnson has justified his party’s defeat by claiming that the by-election results show politics enabling people to “let off at governments” as part of their “democratic safety”. He has asserted that his role as leader is to question which criticism really matters. Notably, this does not include the criticism he has received.

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Annie Dabb

From Newcastle originally, Annie is based in Manchester and is a writer for the Euro Weekly News covering news and features. Got a story you want to share? Then get in touch at [email protected]