The former foreign secretary and one of Theresa May’s possible replacements, Boris Johnson, has urged British voters to support “hard-working Tory councillors” at the upcoming local elections, who could fall victim to growing public discontent over the ongoing Brexit ordeal.
He addressed Britons, who are set to head to the polls on Thursday, in a column in The Daily Telegraph.
In his article, Johnson voiced confidence that voters know “how much good they [councillors] do and how much we all rely on them”.
“That is why it matters so much whom we elect on Thursday – and that is why I hope people will vote for the councils that deliver the best services for the best value; and that means the Conservatives”, he stated.
Speaking about his party’s candidates, Johnson claimed that they “have many superb and public-spirited people working in local government, and we should trust them now with more responsibility – and accountability – for the vast budgets that they spend”.
The Conservatives have braced themselves for a massive fiasco in Thursday’s vote. The Daily Mail cites Conservative expert Rob Hayward as predicting that the Tories might lose more than 800 council seats. At the same time, some senior party members fear even greater losses, possibly amounting to some 1,000 out of the 4,628 seats they currently have if voters boycott the election over the repeated failures to deliver on the Brexit deal and leave the EU.
Despite his call, vocal Brexiteer Boris Johnson has to deal with fading support among fellow senior Tories. Prisons Minister Rory Stewart suggested that he might leave if Johnson wins the contest for the party’s leadership, The Sun reports.
“I would find that difficult if he were campaigning for a No Deal Brexit. Becoming a hard Brexit party isn't just about Brexit, it carries with it a whole series of statements about polarising extreme right-wing politics. I'd find it very difficult to stay, I'd have to look at what he was doing”, he told the BBC, describing it as a “red line”.