Roger Gale warns Johnson to brace for ‘another protest vote’ as new by-election looms
Boris Johnson may face another 'protest vote' warns Gale
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Sir Roger said the upcoming by-election in Southend in February could prove to be another disaster for Boris Johnson following the humiliating loss he reported in North Shropshire. The Liberal Democrats managed to take advantage of the recent scandals surrounding the Prime Minister and top Tory party MPs due to allegations of their possible rule-breaking behaviour last year. This has caused a major backlash amongst voters in the traditionally Conservative area, with the Lib Dems snatching a nearly 6,000 majority.
Sir Roger said: “I would not be a bit surprised if people didn’t start to write some of those letters.
“We’ve got the Southend bi-election coming up, now that’s going to be an odd situation because the Liberal party and the Labour party.
“Because of the circumstances of David Amess’s death agreed not to fight it.
He added: “But it will be fought and it’s quite possible I think that, if we’re not careful there might be a protest vote there as well.
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“This is not a happy time for the Prime Minister I’m afraid.”
Sir David Amess was the MP for Southend West for 24 years, up until the fatal stabbing in October and his death triggered a by-election the Tories are expected to contest in February.
Politician Anna Firth, 55, has been selected by the local Conservative Association to run for the seat and a by-election is expected to take place in February although no date has been confirmed yet.
Ms Firth said: “I want to pay tribute to the work of Sir David Amess and I will work tirelessly to carry on his legacy.
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“I will focus on realising the benefits of city status, protecting and improving services at Southend hospital, and helping to build back better from the pandemic.”
Lib Dem winner Helen Morgan criticised Boris Johnson during her speech after she took North Shropshire after nearly 200 years in widely Conservative control.
Ms Morgan said: “Many of your predecessors took office because they believed in a sense of national service. That they were duty-bound to do what they believed is right for our country.
“Too often it is all about you and never about us.
“Instead of taking action to help Shropshire’s NHS, you spend your time seeking questionable donations to refurbish your flat.
“Instead of taking action to support Shropshire’s farmers, you spend your time misleading the nation on how you and your office partied during lockdown. Tonight the people of North Shropshire have said enough is enough.
“They have said that you are unfit to lead and that they want a change.”
Mr Davey said: “Millions of people are fed up with Boris Johnson and his failure to provide leadership throughout the pandemic and last night the voters of North Shropshire spoke for all of them.”
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