How Boris Johnson's majority could be destroyed in an instant

Joe Gamp
Contributor, Yahoo News UK
Prime Minister Boris Johnson is in danger of losing his majority in an instant if just one Tory MP defects from the party (PA)

The Conservative Party’s loss to the Liberal Democrats in the Brecon and Radnorshire by-election could see Boris Johnsons grip on power wiped out in an instant.

In the Welsh election the Liberal Democrats’ Jane Dodds won 13,826 votes with the Tories taking 12,401 - a margin of 1,425 that overturned the Tories’ previous majority of more than 8,000.

Boris Johnson's first electoral test saw Welsh Lib Dem leader Jane Dodds (L) win the Brecon and Radnorshire by-election (PA)

Victory for Jane Dodds has now reduced Mr Johnson’s majority in the House of Commons to just one.

As a result, the Prime Minister faces the risk of losing his majority altogether if just one Conservative politician defects from the party, leaving him struggling to deliver a Brexit deal or domestic policy agenda.

Are any Tory MPs going to defect?

Pro-EU MP Philip Lee said he was considering defecting to the Liberal Democrats, claiming he felt “politically homeless” after Mr Johnson’s newly formed Government shifted to a no-deal Brexit.

Mr Lee told the On the House podcast: “For me, I’m really not comfortable about my party pushing for no-deal Brexit without proper consent of the public.

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“Purely on a national interest, I think it’s wrong to do this.

“But party politically I think it’s narrowing our base in a way that I don’t see how we win elections and if you don’t win elections in a democracy you don’t have power and you can’t do things you want to do.”

(PA)

UK digital Minister Margot James said she would do "whatever it takes in the end" to prevent a no-deal Brexit.

The minister refused to rule out voting against the Government in a motion of confidence, showing a willingness to take extreme action.

During a conference in Brussels, she said: "No, at the moment I just won’t decide in advance.

Britain's Prime Minister Boris Johnson inspects a chicken during his visit to rally support for his farming plans post-Brexit, at Shervington Farm, in St Brides Wentlooge near Newport, south Wales, Tuesday, July 30, 2019. (Adrian Dennis/Pool Photo via AP)

“I will do whatever it takes in the end, but I hope there will be something more sensible than bringing the government down."

And the risks don’t stop there. According to the Times, a further six politicians are rumoured to be considering talks with the Liberal Democrats in order to halt Boris Johnson’s leadership, including Rory Stewart and Sir Ed Davey.

The rebellions aren’t limited to Remainers - the Prime Minister also faces the threat of hardline Brexiteers defecting to Nigel Farage’s Brexit Party.

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