Local elections: Conservatives could face hung parliament
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The Prime Minister is also facing calls for an emergency budget to take more drastic action to tackle the cost of living crisis. Tory grandees have also called for Mr Sunak to reverse last month’s national insurance rise in order to help boost economic growth.
The Tories lost over 400 council seats across England, including some particularly disappointing results in London where Barnet, Wandsworth and Westminster were lost to Labour.
Although Tory MPs said that the results were not bad enough for more no confidence letters to be sent, more action from Mr Johnson was needed.
According to The Telegraph, they warned the Prime Minister that he is “not out of the woods”, saying “partygate” and the cost of living were frequently raised by voters on the doorstep and Number 10 must respond by cutting taxes.
Former Conservative leader Sir Ian Duncan Smith, whose marginal Chingford seat is under threat from Labour, told Times Radio that his party would suffer at the next general election unless it acted now.
He said: “The Government now has got to bite the bullet on this one and accept the fact we cannot both tighten monetary policy and fiscal policy at the same time, because that is hurting people.
“We need to cut taxes to give people more room to ride out the shock of the cost of living crisis.
“The Treasury has been wrong on its demand that it has to have National Insurance rise.
“We don’t need to raise National Insurance and we should cut that.
“We need a Chancellor that will do these things and therefore it’s up to [the] Government as to how that’s delivered.”
Thatcher era veteran and former leadership candidate Sir John Redwood told The Telegraph that Mr Sunak is “making the UK the only advanced country to respond to a global cost of living crisis by increasing taxes”.
Marcus Fysh Tory MP said that the “current team” was capable of “delivering” and that he had been “trying” to speak to Mr Johnson for “3 years”.
He said: “I do not think the current team is capable of delivering a successful economic policy for the country.
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“The current set-up isn’t working and it needs to be changed. I’ve been trying to speak to the PM for three years.
“I will be speaking to colleagues about what needs to happen.”
Tobias Ellwood, the chairman of the Commons defence committee, was the most senior MP to say that Mr Johnson should resign after the election losses.
He told the BBC that the Conservatives were “haemorrhaging support” in parts of the country.
He said: “I think we’re kidding ourselves if we think everything’s okay and we don’t need to learn from what is going on.
“We are haemorrhaging support in parts of the country.”
One Tory MP told The Telegraph that the local election debacle would be “another nail” in the Prime Minister’s coffin but that they did not expect it to spark a flood of new no confidence letters.
They said: “We’re going to face death by a thousand cuts lasting until autumn. I don’t think you’re going to be looking at a confidence vote next week or for some time, but we will have one eventually because the sheer weight of events will force it.”
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