Boris Johnson suffers huge setback as Conservative Party loses two crucial by-polls

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British Prime Minister Boris Johnson suffered a huge setback after his Conservative Party lost two parliamentary seats where by-polls were held on Thursday. The party lost Tiverton and Honiton seat to Liberal Democrats with more than 22,000 votes. The Conservative Party had a majority of more than 24,000 votes here and held this seat every time since the seat was created in 1997. This effective wins that the Liberal Democrats had more than 30 percent swing in their favour here. The by-election in Tiverton and Honiton was necessitated when former Conservative MP Neil Parish resigned his seat after admitting watching pornography in Parliament.

The Conservatives also suffered another setback in Wakefield, where the Labour Party won by 4,925 votes in the poll to overturn a majority of 3,358. A traditionally Labour seat, Wakefield was won by the Conservatives in 2019 when Boris Johnson won a historic landslide in the parliamentary polls riding piggyback on his Brexit popularity. The by-poll here was triggered when ex-Conservative MP Imran Ahmad Khan resigned after being jailed in May for sexually assaulting a 15-year-old boy in 2008.

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The results in Wakefield and Tiverton and Honiton spell disaster for Johnson, who is already facing a rebellion within his party over his questionable leadership. He had narrowly survived a confidence vote recently but today’s results may prompt even his supporters to sharpen their knives against him.

Experts say that the results indicate growing anger against Johnson, who has been facing growing criticism for breaching ethical standards. He recently became the first sitting prime minister for being fined by the Met Police after he was found guilty of breaking the lockdown rules that he himself had formulated.

Johnson is currently attending a Commonwealth summit in Rwanda. He had earlier said that he would not resign even if his party suffers defeats in the bypolls.