Partygate signals huge local election losses for Tories, campaigners say

Caught by the ballots: if Boris Johnson continues to show the lack of contrition over Partygate that we have seen so far, his own backbenchers will probably backstab him, fearing that losses of local councillors will endanger their own Parliamentary salaries and expense accounts.

Boris Johnson will make this worse because he simply doesn’t care.

He has been told that the Conservative Party – of which he is the leader – will lose huge numbers of council seats in the May local elections because he attended illegal parties in Downing Street while the rest of us obeyed his lockdown laws.

The losses are likely to be worsened if he receives any more fixed penalty notices for attending parties other than the birthday event for himself, for which he has already been fined – and police are said to be investigating five.

The Metropolitan Police have said they will not announce whether Johnson receives further fines during the pre-election “purdah” period (as it may be construed as an attempt to influence the way people vote) but Downing Street has said that it will make a statement if the prime minister receives any.

Johnson is facing an inquiry into whether he deliberately misled Parliament with multiple claims that there were no rule breaches before he received his first fine for breaching his own rules.

He apologised to Parliament on April 19 but Conservative MP Steve Baker has denounced Johnson’s words as insincere: “The contrition didn’t last much longer than it took to get out of the headmaster’s study. By the time we got to the 1922 Committee meeting that evening it was the usual festival of bombast and orgy of adulation.

“It took me about 90 seconds to realise he wasn’t really remorseful.”

That is what’s going to turn voters away from the Conservatives on May 5.

Johnson doesn’t care because he thinks the loss of local councillors won’t affect his position as prime minister.

But his attitude fails to take into account the fact that Tory backbenchers will be in danger of losing their seats if he continues to show the indifference that we are seeing now.

And like Johnson himself, the Tory MPs’ first loyalty is to their own income stream. If his continuation as PM puts their Parliamentary jobs in jeopardy, they’ll take action to prevent it.

Expect more letters of ‘no confidence’ in his leadership to flood in to Graham Brady, chair of the backbench 1922 Committee, pronto.

Source: Tories face heavy local election losses over Partygate, PM told | Conservatives | The Guardian

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