Boris facing 'open revolt' in Tory heartlands as Partygate row turns safe seats against PM

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Boris Johnson slammed by Mellor for allowing ‘drinking den’

Reports of rocketing anger in marginal Tory seats should worry the Conservatives ahead of the spring local elections, the Liberal Democrats said. The Prime Minister has been fighting to hold onto power since he admitted to attending a Downing Street garden party on May 20, 2020. Since then, he has been battling against calls to resign – both from the opposition and from within his own party.

Mr Johnson has urged his critics to wait for the outcome of Sue Gray’s inquiry.

Ms Gray, who is due to publish her report next week, is the civil servant tasked with assessing whether any of the 16 alleged parties officially broke lockdown rules.

But opposition parties have warned grassroots anger has already taken hold.

Liberal Democrat MP Sarah Olney told Express.co.uk: “There is an open revolt in the former Tory heartlands ahead of the Spring elections.

“I have never known a reaction like it. People know this Government has completely taken them for granted.

Boris facing 'open revolt' in Tory heartlands as Partygate antics turns safe seats against PM

Boris facing ‘open revolt’ in Tory heartlands as Partygate antics turns safe seats against PM (Image: GETTY)

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Boris Johnson has urged critics to wait for the outcome of the Sue Gray inquiry (Image: GETTY)

“Everyone played by the rules and made huge sacrifices during lockdowns.

“We couldn’t be with sick family members and went months without seeing our closest friends whilst NHS heroes worked endless shifts with bin bags for PPE.

“Yet at the very same time, Boris Johnson was living it up at a Downing Street garden party. The whole thing stinks.

“Tory MPs won’t be able to hide behind lame excuses any longer. Liberal Democrats rooted in their local communities will hold Boris Johnson to account.”

The Lib Dems are ramping up campaigning in their top Blue Wall target seats ahead of Ms Gray’s report.

A key focus will be the seat of deputy Prime Minister and Justice Secretary Dominic Raab, who held onto his seat in the last election by only two percent.

The Lib Dems are circulating a leaflet quoting Mr Raab saying: “I’m fully supportive of this Prime Minister and I’m sure he will continue for many years to come.”

This approach is being echoed across Tory heartlands, with an army of campaigners, councillors and candidates being sent out to knock on doors to “hold Boris Johnson to account”.

Sarah Olney

‘There is an open revolt in former Tory heartlands,’ says Sarah Olney (Image: GETTY)

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There has been 16 alleged lockdown-breaking parties in Downing Street (Image: GETTY)

In Winchester, the Lib Dems were only 985 votes behind the victorious Tory MP Stephen Brine in the 2019 general election.

Well-known vet and animal rights campaigner Danny Chambers has been selected as the Lib Dem candidate and has been speaking to constituents about their view.

Mr Chambers told Express.co.uk: “I have been flooded with messages from local people who are rightly furious at the Prime Minister.

“They tell me this is the final straw and that Boris Johnson’s rule-breaking and lying antics must finally stop.

“No one can understand why Tory MPs are still defending Boris Johnson.”

A similar scene is breaking in Wimbledon, where the Conservatives held on in the last election by only 628 votes.

The Tories have not lost the seat for nearly 20 years but it is now one of the closest Blue Wall contests in the country and will prove a major Conservative/Lib Dem battleground.

Guildford is also in the Lib Dems’ crosshairs.

Formerly one of the safest Tory seats, Ed Davey’s party will be pulling their weight to flip the seat which only needs a three percent swing to turn yellow.

The campaign comes as fresh details of the May 20 party emerge and allegations of blackmail are levelled at the Tory party whips.

The Telegraph revealed on Friday that during the seven-hour drinking session in Downing Street, attendees took turns going down Wilf’s slide, pizza was handed around and wine was spilled on the office printer.

The paper claims to have seen photos of the event, including the rave in the basement.

The existence of photographs will be a key focus of Ms Gray’s report which could be published as early as Monday.



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