UK prepares for local elections in major test for PM Johnson
Indy

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”.

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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:

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.

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