Priti Patel Says There Will Not Be Any More Resignations After By-Election Wipe Out

The home secretary backed Boris Johnson, saying they were working "night and day" on the big issues.
Priti Patel and Boris Johnson.
Priti Patel and Boris Johnson.
STEFAN ROUSSEAU via Getty Images

Priti Patel said she does not expect any more resignations after Oliver Dowden quit as Tory chairman following their by-election wipe out.

The home secretary said Boris Johnson told her the government is “cracking on with task” after they lost Tiverton and Honiton and Wakefield.

She also said she did not think any more top Tories would quit, after Dowden’s dramatic resignation at 5.30am on Friday morning.

Dowden quit saying he and Tory supporters were “distressed and disappointed by recent events”, telling Johnson that “someone must take responsibility”.

Asked if she expected more resignations to follow, Patel told LBC: “I don’t because, as I’ve said, to govern his hard and to govern we make choices and decisions and we are working night and day I can give you that assurance.

“I know this from my colleagues and my own work night and day focusing on these big issues whether it is lowering crime, making our streets safer, funding the NHS, tackling these big, big challenges, that international leadership.”

Asked what Johnson said to her following the results, she added: “The fact of the matter is that we’re cracking on with the task.”

Pressed on what the PM said, she said: “Yes, exactly that, absolutely, that we are carrying on, working to grow our economy and address the cost of living… and providing the leadership that we need in challenging times.

“We do that collectively, we really do as one government working together.”

Patel was among a number of ministers scrambled onto the airwaves this morning after Dowden pulled out of the media round.

Deputy Prime Minister, Lord Chancellor and Secretary of State for Justice Dominic Raab.
Deputy Prime Minister, Lord Chancellor and Secretary of State for Justice Dominic Raab.
Anadolu Agency via Getty Images

Deputy prime minister Dominic Raab described the Conservative party losses in the by-elections being the result of a “perfect storm”.

The told BBC Radio 4′s Today programme: “My view is that the by-elections, both of them, were the result of the perfect storm of very difficult local scenarios, given the situations of the previously sitting Conservative MPs, plus the national headwinds, first of all, inevitably, for a mid-term government, but also, frankly, the distractions that we’ve had.

“I think the prime minister put it well: we need to listen very carefully, we need to take that feedback.

“I think [with] Tiverton, the most striking thing is how many of our supporters didn’t come out. We need to spend the next two years absolutely relentlessly focused on delivering our plan, without those distractions and with a real calm focus on delivering.”

The prime minister, who is on a visit to Rwanda, is under fierce pressure this morning with Tory MPs worried about losing their seats and senior Tories warning he must go or they will lose the next election.

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