UK prepares for local elections in major test for PM Johnson
Conservatives running in the local council elections have savagely released campaign literature distancing themselves from their national party and Boris Johnson.
A number of leaflets released by candidates throughout the country either make explicit or implicit criticisms of Westminster Tories or do not mention their leader at all.
Leaflets delivered in Hartlepool, for instance say: “This Thursday, please don’t punish local Conservatives for the mistakes made in Westminster. We are local, and proud of where we live.”
Other areas including Birmingham and St Albans list people running for council as "local Conservatives" and in Newcastle-under-Lyme, Conservative leaflets say: “this election is about local issues, not national issues”.
Seen in hotly contested Wandsworth. Note the emphasis of \u201cLocal\u201d- been other reports of local Conservative campaign literature/associations distancing themselves from Westminster.pic.twitter.com/yegh62KH2W
Another leaflet, another part of the country and the same thing-this time 8\u2019 Raynes Park in Merton, south London. Each candidate\u2019s party referred to as \u201cLocal Conservative\u201d in a mocked up ballot box.pic.twitter.com/VpnXhJvbmI
It comes as the Tories are predicted to lose nearly 550 seats in the local elections, according to a survey commissioned for the Telegraph. Voters are reportedly concerned about issues that have dominated the news agenda this year, not least the ongoing Partygate scandal and the cost of living crisis.
Meanwhile, the Telegraph reports Johnson has also not featured at all in the 113 local election adverts pushed by the Conservative Party’s Facebook account since 1 May.
Some of the unflattering leaflets went viral on Twitter where people were amused by the distancing, but didn't have much sympathy for the local branch, considering they are still linked to the party as a whole:
This is quite something. Tory election leaflet in Hartlepool explicitly distancing \u201clocal conservatives\u201d from \u201cmistakes made in Westminster\u201d and putting EU flag on Labour logo.https://twitter.com/clairehubbert/status/1521583318403371009\u00a0\u2026
Please don\u2019t punish local Tory candidates for the mistakes of my government. Punish them for calling themselves \u2018Local Conservatives\u2019 and trying to pretend they are not every bit as useless, selfish, deceitful, callous and greedy as we are.\n#LocalElections2022
You've got to laugh when you read that 'Local Conservatives' are literally begging the public not to punish them for 'Westminster's actions'. Ok fine, we'll just punish you for being members of a rotten organisation instead then, cool. #VoteToryCouncilsOut
— Joe of the Wheels \ud83c\uddfa\ud83c\udde6 \ud83c\uddea\ud83c\uddfa #RightToLove #TBD (@Joe of the Wheels \ud83c\uddfa\ud83c\udde6 \ud83c\uddea\ud83c\uddfa #RightToLove #TBD)
This is a new one: "Don't punish us" Conservatives in Hartlepool for what the Conservatives in Westminster are doing to the country.\n\nNot a good look...https://twitter.com/laurenhowellss/status/1521580943500357634?s=20\u00a0\u2026
The deputy Labour leader, Angela Rayner, said: “It speaks volumes that Boris Johnson’s own Conservative candidates are ashamed to be associated with him and trying to pull the wool over voters’ eyes.
“With no answers to the cost of living crisis, Tory candidates are trying to hide from their own government’s record. A vote for Labour on Thursday is a vote to send the Conservatives a message they can’t ignore. Britain deserves better.”
Polls open tomorrow for what could be make or break elections for Johnson.
Enjoyed this article? Then click the upvote icon at the top of the page to help it rise through the indy100 rankings and have your say in our news democracy.