Boris Johnson 'could outlast Margaret Thatcher as PM'

Boris Johnson could “rule longer than Margaret Thatcher,” according to ministers,

It comes after Labour’s devastating defeat in the Hartlepool by-election.

In a breathtaking victory, the Conservatives overturned a 3,500 majority in the general election to take the seat it had held since its inception in 1974 with a 6,940 majority.

The bruise result was described by a shadow cabinet minister as “absolutely shocking”.

And the Daily mail reports that a change in the UK’s political landscape could mean Boris Johnson could outlast Margaret Thatcher’s eleven years as Prime Minister.

And the Tories could be on their way to taking another 36 seats from Labor, the Mail reports.

Sir Keir Starmer has pledged to “do whatever is necessary” to restore confidence in Labor.

After Boris Johnson’s Tories saw another pillar fall in their once impregnable “red wall”, the Labor leader urged his party to “stop arguing” and respond to the country’s needs.

But with Labor prepared for further damaging losses in the UK Council elections, Sir Keir said he was determined to address the issues.

“I am bitterly disappointed with the outcome and I take full responsibility for the results – and I will take full responsibility for fixing this,” he said.

“We have changed as a party, but we have not given the country enough arguments.

“Very often we talked to ourselves instead of the country and we lost the trust of the working people, especially in places like Hartlepool.

“I intend to do whatever is necessary to fix this.”

A jubilant Prime Minister traveled to Hartlepool to recognize the result in support of his administration’s “level-up agenda”.

“It is a mandate for us to continue to deliver, not just to the people of Hartlepool and the fantastic people of the Northeast, but to the whole country,” said Johnson.

Conservative candidate Jill Mortimer received 15,529 votes – more than half the total – while Labor’s Paul Williams fell short of 8,589.

There was further success for the Tories in the Northeast when Ben Houchen won a second term as mayor of Tees Valley on a landslide and received 73% of the vote.

Together with Hartlepool, this means that two-thirds of the “hat trick” of the results the Tories were looking for has been achieved – with a focus on Andy Street, who remains mayor of West Midlands.

Given that the Conservatives continued to profit when the Council’s results came in from across England, the Prime Minister said it was “very encouraging”.

There was renewed turmoil and accusations for Labor that reopened the wounds of Jeremy Corbyn’s leadership.

Sir Keir repeatedly refused to rely on reports he was planning to reshuffle the Shadow Cabinet, with Shadow Chancellor Anneliese Dodds allegedly among the victims.

Both left and right of the party, however, urged an urgent change of direction if they were to have a chance to regain power in the next parliamentary elections.

Mr Corbyn suggested that Labor had gone to the polls not to offer anything to the electorate.

When asked if Sir Keir should resign, former Labor leader Corbyn told Channel 4 News: “It’s up to him what he wants to do.

“It is important, however, that this party is a real, radical alternative to inspire people.

“If you don’t offer anything and blandly support the government, people either vote for someone else or just stay at home and leave.”

Former shadow chancellor John McDonnell said the party entered the by-election with “almost no politics” and called for a return to a “real grassroots campaign”.

But there has also been criticism from the right, including former Blairite cabinet minister Lord Adonis, who suggested that Sir Keir is now more of a “transitional figure” than the person putting the party back on the road to success.

Sir Keir said he would set out details of his plan to reconnect the party with voters in the “next few days”.

“This goes way beyond reshuffle or personalities,” he said.

“It’s about focusing the Labor Party in the country and making sure we close the gap between the Labor Party and the working people.”

With results from 69 out of 143 controversial English councils, the Tories had a net gain of seven agencies and an additional 166 seats, while Labor had lost control of four councils and 150 seats.

But while Mr Johnson may be pleased with his party’s performance in England, the situation in Scotland could be a major political headache for him.

SNP chairman Nicola Sturgeon said she was “extremely confident” that the party was heading for a “historic” fourth term in power – and with it the possibility of a constitutional showdown on another independence referendum.

She said it was “not impossible” that the SNP could win a clear majority in the Scottish Parliament elections as the party was making profits from key rivals.

If that happened, “when the time is right,” it would push forward plans for an independence referendum – which Mr Johnson would effectively dare to block in court.

“If this were the case in almost every other democracy in the world, it would be an absurd discussion,” she told Channel 4 News.

“When the people of Scotland vote for an independent majority in the Scottish Parliament, no politician has the right to stand in the way.”

Results also came from Wales, where Labor believes its support continues to ensure Mark Drakeford continues to serve as First Minister.

The party took the scalp of former Plaid Cymru leader Leanne Wood in the Rhondda, but lost the Clwyd Valley to the Tories.


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