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Tory Chairman Quits As Tories Lose by-Elections

  • Boris Johnson’s Conservatives have two both by-elections, adding fresh pressure onto the prime minister. 
  • Oliver Dowden has quit as Conservative Party chairman, citing multiple “poor results” at the polls.
  • That has renewed speculation that a summer reshuffle is on the cards.

Oliver Dowden has stepped down as Conservative Party Chairman, after losing two seats overnight. 

The minister said he was resigning “with great sadness” but noted that Wakefield and Tiverton & Honiton were “the latest in a run of very poor results for our party”. 

He added: “Our supporters are distressed and disappointed by recent events, and I share their feelings. We cannot carry on with business as usual. Somebody must take responsibility and I have concluded that, in these circumstances, it would not be right for me to remain in office.”

His decision has renewed suggestions there could be a reshuffle in the next month, but it also puts pressure back onto Boris Johnson, following his recent leadership threat. Dowden’s letter makes no mention of support for the prime minister, but only his loyalty to the party. 

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