Boris Johnson says by-election defeat ‘not brilliant’ and ‘people will continue to beat me up’


oris Johnson has admitted the by-election results were not “brilliant” for the Tories as he said people will continue to “beat” him.

Tories lost Wakefield in the “Red Wall” to Labour and the former Conservative stronghold of Tiverton and Honiton in Devon to the Liberal Democrats.

But the Prime Minister, who is attending the Commonwealth summit, vowed to “listen and learn” as he addressed the devastating losses at a press conference in Rwanda.

He told reporters: “I’m not going to pretend these are brilliant results.

“We’ve got to listen, we’ve got to learn. But it wasn’t that long ago, just over a year ago, that we won a spectacular by-election victory.

“When people are finding it tough they send messages to politicians and politicians have got to respond.”

The Tory party chairman resigned on Friday after it suffered two damaging by-election defeats and, in a bombshell resignation letter, Oliver Dowden stressed “someone must take responsibility”.

The Prime Minister told a press conference that Mr Dowden “did a lot of good work” after the chairman resignation as a cabinet minister.

Also, Mr Johnson said he expects voters to “beat” and “attack” him but he insisted he could take it.

He continued: “There will still be some tough times ahead, no doubt people will continue to beat me up and say this or that to attack me.

“That’s fine, that’s quite right, that is the job of politicians. In the end, voters, journalists, they have no-one else to make their complaints to, I have to take that.”

In the rural Devon constituency of Tiverton and Honiton, the Lib Dems overturned a 24,000 Tory majority to win, with a swing of almost 30%.

While in West Yorkshire, Labour seized back Wakefield with a majority of 4,925 on a swing of 12.7% from the Tories.


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