Merk argiewe: loses

Johnson loses long-time ally Oliver Dowden from cabinet

Johnson loses long-time ally Oliver Dowden from cabinet
‘We cannot carry on with business as usual’, senior MP says in pointed letter to Boris Johnson

Boris Johnson was dealt a second body blow within hours of his crushing by-election defeats in Wakefield and Tiverton and Honiton, as close ally Oliver Dowden quit as Conservative chairman.

In a letter released early on Friday, Mr Dowden appeared to point to the Partygate scandal as a key factor in the double setback, saying that he shared the feelings of Tory supporters who were “distressed and disappointed by recent events”.

In a message calling for at the least a change in direction, if not a change of leadership, for the Conservative government, Mr Dowden said: “We cannot carry on with business as usual.”