“Tonight the people of North Shropshire have spoken on behalf of the British people,” Morgan said in her victory speech. “They said loudly and clearly, ‘Boris Johnson, the party is over. Your government, run on lies and bluster, will be held accountable. It will be scrutinized, it will be challenged, and it can and will be defeated.’”

U.K. Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s Conservative Party has suffered a stunning defeat in a parliamentary by-election that was viewed as a referendum on his government amid weeks of scandal and soaring COVID-19 infections, AP reports.

Liberal Democrat Helen Morgan overturned a Conservative majority of almost 23,000 votes from the last election to win Thursday’s contest in North Shropshire, a rural area of northwest England that has been represented by a Conservative almost continuously since 1832. The election was called after the former Conservative member of Parliament resigned following allegations of improper lobbying.

The result will heap pressure on Johnson just two years after he was reelected with a seemingly unassailable 80-seat majority in the House of Commons. His authority has been dented in recent weeks by allegations that he and his staff attended Christmas parties last year while the country was in lockdown, efforts to shield his ally in the lobbying scandal and suggestions that he improperly accepted donations to fund the lavish refurbishment of his official residence.

Thursday’s result is the second by-election defeat for the Conservatives this year. The Liberal Democrats, England’s third-biggest party, in June won a by-election in Chesham and Amersham, a constituency northwest of London that had also been a traditional Conservative stronghold.

Read more

© Copyright LaPresse