By-election in Wales and an MP’s sex charge could wipe out the Conservative majority of just TWO within days
- A by-election in Brecon and Radnorshire will be held on Thursday
- It was triggered after Tory MP Chris Davies was convicted of forging invoices
- New Commons Leader Jacob Rees-Mogg has been despatched in final push
- Dover MP Charlie Elphicke was suspended last week when he was charged
- Now police are considering charging a second MP for groping
Tories are desperately praying the ‘Boris bounce’ will stave off a humiliating by-election defeat which will slash his Commons majority to just one.
And that waifer-thin majority could be completely wiped out if a second MP is charged over a groping allegation by police.
Conservatives hope Mr Johnson’s clear pledge to quit the EU by October 31 will give them victory in the Brexit-backing, Tory seat of Brecon and Radnorshire on Thursday.
In a final push to hold the Welsh seat, new Commons Leader Jacob Rees-Mogg was despatched there yesterday.
Tories are desperately praying the ‘Boris bounce’ will stave off a humiliating Commons majority wipeout within days
In a final push to hold the Welsh seat of Brecon and Radnorshire in a by-election on Thursday, new Commons Leader Jacob Rees-Mogg has been despatched there
But some party insiders fear Mr Johnson’s arrival at No 10 has come too late to woo local Brexit Party supporters and stop the Liberal Democrats snatching the seat.
The contest in Brecon, where the Tories are defending an 8,038 majority, will be the first major test of whether the new Prime Minister’s vow to fulfil the 2016 referendum result by Halloween will win over enough voters – especially those who backed leaving the EU.
The Brecon by-election was triggered after sitting Tory MP Chris Davies was convicted of forging invoices for £700 of Commons expenses.
The Lib Dems, which used to hold the seat, are confident they will spoil Mr Johnson’s honeymoon in Downing Street by retaking the seat.
They have been buoyed by the decision of the Greens and Welsh nationalists Plaid Cymru to stand aside in favour of the Lib Dems. The challengers are also surprised that the Tories are fielding Mr Davies as their candidate despite his conviction.
The Brecon by-election was triggered after sitting Tory MP Chris Davies (pictured) was convicted of forging invoices for £700 of Commons expenses
Nigel Farage’s Brexit Party also claims to have a chance of winning the seat, which mirrored the national referendum result in 2016 by voting 51.9 per cent Leave against 48.1 per cent Remain.
Mr Davies said: ‘The people of Brecon and Radnorshire voted for Brexit so I’m sure they will be encouraged by our new PM.’
However, another senior Tory warned: ‘This by-election has probably come too early for a bit of Boris magic dust to make a difference.’
A police investigation into a Tory MP accused of sexual assault could lead to Boris Johnson losing his Commons majority within days.
The wafer-thin Tory majority fell to two last week after Dover MP Charlie Elphicke had the Conservative whip suspended when he was charged with sexually assaulting two women.
Now party whips have warned No 10 that police are considering charging a second MP over a groping allegation, which would wipe out Mr Johnson’s majority altogether.
The wafer-thin Tory majority fell to two last week after Dover MP Charlie Elphicke had the Conservative whip suspended when he was charged with sexually assaulting two women
The MP at the centre of the police investigation has been accused of multiple groping incidents in bars going back several months, but it was only last week that the Tory whips raised the alarm with No 10 about ‘potential imminent charges’.
Mr Elphicke lost the whip after he was charged with three counts of sexual assault, with one count dating back to 2007 and two further offences relating to a second complaint in 2016. He will appear before magistrates in September.
He lost the whip when the claims initially emerged in 2017, only to have it restored in time to be able to vote for Theresa May in a confidence motion last December.
A source said: ‘The majority is so tight now that the whips are incredibly jumpy about what is next coming down the track. In this case, the majority is totally in the hands of the police. If the MP is charged, we will have absolutely no choice but to withdraw the whip.’ Downing Street declined to comment.