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Boris Johnson suffers two special election defeats, party chairman quits

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euronews.com

On Thursday, British Prime Minister Boris Johnson suffered a double blow, as voters in two special elections rejected his Conservative Party, putting further pressure on the British leader at a time when his own party seems to be moving away from him.In the rural southwest England seat of Tiverton and Honiton, the centrist Liberal Democrats overturned a large Conservative majority, in what is considered to be one of the worst byelection results for the party in modern times.On Friday morning the party's chairman, Oliver Dowden, announced his resignation, saying the party “cannot carry on with business as usual.”He added that: “somebody must take responsibility and I have concluded that, in these circumstances, it would not be right for me to remain in office.”At the same time, the Labour Party reclaimed Wakefield in northern England from Johnson's Tories.Both contests were triggered by the resignations of Conservative lawmakers following sex scandals.

However, the elections were dominated by questions about Johnson’s leadership and ethics, and came just weeks after 41% of his own MPs cast their ballots against him.“The people of Tiverton and Honiton have spoken for Britain," said the area's newly elected Liberal Democrat lawmaker, Richard Foord. "They sent a loud and clear message: It’s time for Boris Johnson to go, and go now.”Losing both seats is likely to increase pressure among restive Conservatives, who are already concerned that Johnson is no longer an electoral asset for the party.The electoral tests come as Britain faces the worst cost-of-living crisis in a generation, with Russia’s war in Ukraine squeezing supplies of energy and food staples at a time of soaring consumer demand.Johnson was at a Commonwealth

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