‘Bookies say you’ve got no chance’ Shapps squirms over by-election in tense Burley probe

Kay Burley grills Grant Shapps on North Shropshire by-election

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Transport Secretary Grant Shapps faced tense questioning on whether the Conservative candidate in the North Shropshire by-election will be able to win the seat. The Party has come under considerable question in recent weeks over allegations of flouting Covid rules during the lockdown, with internal turmoil also brewing and threatening Boris Johnson’s position. Sky News presenter Kay Burley questioned Mr Shapps on whether he and his Cabinet colleagues are preparing for a defeat.

Ms Burley said: “What if you lose the by-election? Will you have lost the dressing room then?”

The Transport Secretary replied: “Governing is difficult and you don’t have…especially with something like coronavirus. There’s no textbook to work through.

“And I think this Government will have done some things where we haven’t got it right. We’ve also done some things where we’ve absolutely got it spot on. Things like the vaccine programme is one of those.:

But Ms Burley renewed her question: “What if you lose?”

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Mr Shapps conceded that “in mid-parliament, things happen” and he insisted the party will “wait and see” what the North Shropshire by-election will bring.

The Sky News presenter said: “So you’re shaping up to potentially accepting you might lose?

“When we were having these conversations two weeks ago, it was ‘absolutely, absolutely not going to happen.’

“The bookies have said you’ve got no chances, it’s the Lib Dems.”

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The Transport Secretary said: “One thing I’ve known from being in politics for a long time, and being party chairman, is never to become a pundit on your sofa.

“You’ve got plenty of guests who’ll do that. Why don’t we leave it to the voters?

“I don’t want to preempt what voters decide to do – that’s their business.

“I’m sure afterwards you can analyse the results or I’m sure there are plenty of people to do that for you.”

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