A cupboard minister has urged Tory MPs to not act towards Boris Johnson after the social gathering’s bruising native election outcomes, as a critic of the prime minister stated questions over his management “had to be brought to a head”.
After the Conservatives misplaced virtually 500 seats and the management of 11 councils, the training secretary, Nadhim Zahawi, known as on Saturday for social gathering unity, arguing that Johnson remained a vote-winner.
He instructed Sky News: “He is an asset, absolutely … if you look at the way that Boris cuts through in places like Nuneaton, places like Newcastle-under-Lyme, other parts of the country as well – Harrow in London.”
Zahawi added: “People don’t like to vote for split parties, for teams that are divided. We are stronger when we are united and that would be my message to all my colleagues.”
When requested if he believed the prime minister was a “man of integrity” on BBC Radio 4’s Today programme, Zahawi stated Johnson was “not just a man of integrity, but a man who works all hours to deliver for the nation”.
In important native election blows to the Conservatives, Labour took Tory London flagship councils in Westminster, Wandsworth and Barnet.
The social gathering additionally recorded its worst place in Scotland for a decade and misplaced management of its solely council in Wales, Monmouthshire, to Labour.
The outcomes have reignited criticism in some quarters of Johnson’s management, with rumblings that his premiership might be underneath menace.
Some Conservatives voiced frustration that actions at No 10 had pushed ardent supporters to both “sit on their hands” or vote towards the social gathering, with Partygate frequently introduced up on doorsteps.
There was renewed criticism on Saturday from a Tory backbench critic of the prime minister, Aaron Bell, who stated discussions have been wanted relating to the longer term management of the Conservative social gathering.
Bell, who has already submitted a letter of no confidence in Johnson, instructed BBC Radio 4’s Today programme that about one in six “traditional Tory voters” he encountered whereas canvassing “had a real issue” with Partygate.
“There were some people who said they were going to sit on their hands and stay at home and probably some people even who voted against us. So that’s obviously something we’ve got to address, something we’ve got to win back.”
Fifty-four letters should be despatched to the chair of the backbench 1922 Committee, Sir Graham Brady, for a vote of no confidence to be known as.
Bell added: “My position in terms of putting my letter to Sir Graham Brady hasn’t changed. It’s not really up to me, it’s up to my colleagues and I’m sure when we get back to Westminster, there will be a discussion about that.
“What I do think is it needs to be brought to a head sooner rather than later because I don’t think we can continue having this hanging over the party for many more months to come, with the Metropolitan police and Sue Gray and then the privileges committee.”
John Mallinson, the Conservative chief of Carlisle metropolis council, instructed the BBC he had “lost some very good colleagues” within the Cumberland native election, including he had discovered it “difficult to drag the debate back to local issues” whereas campaigning, due to Partygate and the price of residing disaster.
He stated Johnson could be a “poor option” to guide the Conservatives into the following common election.