Oliver Dowden resigns as Tory party chair after by-election losses
Given how utterly wild UK politics is at the moment, I don’t think we need to tell you that whenever something dramatic happens, there is always a tweet which comes back to haunt the politicians affected.
In this instance, it’s former culture secretary Oliver Dowden MP, who resigned as Conservative Party chairman after his party suffered two by-election defeats on Thursday night.
In a letter shared to social media on Friday, following the losses in Wakefield and the Devon constituency of Tiverton and Honiton, Mr Dowden wrote: “Yesterday’s Parliamentary by-elections are the latest in a run of very poor results for our party. Our supporters are distressed and disappointed by recent events, and I share their feelings.
“We cannot carry on with business as usual. Somebody must take responsibility and I have concluded that, in these circumstances, it would not be right for me to remain in office.”
With the correspondence containing no positive description of Boris Johnson’s leadership of his party, social media users have speculated that the person Dowden thinks should “take responsibility” is our prime minister.
Bit awkward, then, when you consider that it was only a few weeks ago when the Hertsmere MP was backing the PM in his first confidence vote.
On 6 June, he tweeted: “I will be voting for Boris Johnson in the confidence vote tonight. He’s demonstrated real leadership in getting the big calls right as PM - Brexit, vaccines, reopening and Ukraine.
“I hope after this vote we can come together and focus on the future. Let’s face the big challenges united and tied on delivery.”
And it seems we’re not the only one to have spotted the very stark change in stance in just 18 days: