Former NI Conservative calls for Johnson to stand down after Shropshire drubbing

Liberal Democrats overturned a massive Conservative majority to win the North Shropshire by election by almost 6,000 votes.

Rebecca Black
Friday 17 December 2021 16:51
Prime Minister Boris Johnson (Frank Augstein/PA)
Prime Minister Boris Johnson (Frank Augstein/PA)

A prominent former member of the Conservative Party in Northern Ireland has called for Boris Johnson to stand down following the party’s bruising defeat in the North Shropshire by-election.

Alan Dunlop, a former chairman of the Northern Ireland Conservatives, made the call after Liberal Democrats won the North Shropshire by election by almost 6,000 votes.

The by-election was sparked by the resignation of former Northern Ireland Secretary Owen Paterson after he broke the rules on paid lobbying by MPs.

Mr Dunlop resigned from the party in October and has now warned that his former colleagues should expect “abject failure” in the next Stormont Assembly election in May.

Former chairman of the NI Conservatives Alan Dunlop (Niall Carson/PA)

“This by-election result was a damning indictment of the Prime Minister and senior party management.

“The Owen Paterson issue and the PM’s disregard of Covid rules created the perfect storm for this backlash.

“It’s all very well for the Prime Minister to take responsibility for this appalling defeat at the polls, but he has to go one step further and stand down to let his successor re-build trust with the electorate.

“It was clear to me when I resigned in October as chair and my membership of the party that things were on a slippery slope.

“There was a disconnect between the honest, genuine Conservative volunteer worker on the ground and the upper echelon of the party.

“The Prime Minister has let down these sincere people.

“His behaviour has been appalling and it’s now time that he paid the price for his flagrant disregard of his own rules and guidelines.

“Northern Ireland Tories are being treated disgracefully with no authority to campaign, promote and challenge for fear of upsetting the Government’s ludicrous softly-softly approach to a dysfunctional Assembly and Executive.

“Five months out from an Assembly election, my advice to my former colleagues and friends is not to waste their money or energy on fighting a campaign that will end in abject failure.”

Register for free to continue reading

Registration is a free and easy way to support our truly independent journalism

By registering, you will also enjoy limited access to Premium articles, exclusive newsletters, commenting, and virtual events with our leading journalists

Please enter a valid email
Please enter a valid email
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Must be at least 6 characters, include an upper and lower case character and a number
Please enter your first name
Special characters aren’t allowed
Please enter a name between 1 and 40 characters
Please enter your last name
Special characters aren’t allowed
Please enter a name between 1 and 40 characters
You must be over 18 years old to register
You must be over 18 years old to register
Opt-out-policy
You can opt-out at any time by signing in to your account to manage your preferences. Each email has a link to unsubscribe.

By clicking ‘Create my account’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Already have an account? sign in

By clicking ‘Register’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Register for free to continue reading

Registration is a free and easy way to support our truly independent journalism

By registering, you will also enjoy limited access to Premium articles, exclusive newsletters, commenting, and virtual events with our leading journalists

Already have an account? sign in

By clicking ‘Register’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Thank you for registering

Please refresh the page or navigate to another page on the site to be automatically logged inPlease refresh your browser to be logged in