Mon, 25 September 2023

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Senior Tories call for unity after local election drubbing

1 min read

Senior Conservatives have called for unity after the party suffered its worst local election performance in nearly 25 years.

In a humiliation for Theresa May, the Tories lost 1,334 councillors and control of more than 40 local authorities.

By contrast, the Lib Dems gained more than 700 seats, with the Greens also enjoying a good night with nearly 200 gains.

It was also a disappointing election for Labour, who lost 82 councillors as well as local authorities in key party heartlands.

The Prime Minister is facing calls to quit in the wake of the Tory electoral disaster, but leading members of the Cabinet have appealed for calm as the Government continues to grapple with delivering Brexit.

At the Scottish Tory conference in Aberdeen, Home Secretary Sajid Javid warned that "a divided party cannot unite a divided nation". And in a speech on Saturday, Health Secretary Matt Hancock will urge his party to "pull together".

However, The Times reports that Sir Graham Brady, chairman of the powerful backbench 1922 committee, will meet Mrs May on Tuesday and demand she set out a timetable for her departure. Sir Graham is understood to have met the Prime Minister prior to Thursday's elections but agreed to not demand she names her departure date until after the results.

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