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Final local results to be declared as Conservatives pick over bleak showing – BBC News



Throughout today’s programme we heard from a panel featuring Conservative MP Paul Scully, former Labour minister Jacqui Smith and Guardian political editor Pippa Crerar.

At the outset, Scully said the public sent the party a “really hard message” and said the Tories need to “take a breath and show humility”.

Scully – who wanted to be the Conservative candidate for the London mayoral race – gave a scathing review of the party’s performance in the capital. He said the party “botched” the selection process which saw Susan Hall become the candidate, and failed to inspire during the campaign.

Scully said voters have “stopped listening” to the government and agreed that many Tory voters have “gone on strike”. He called for ministers to set out a more positive vision.

Smith admitted she was “rolling her eyes” at Scully, Harper and Braverman “wrestling for the future” of the party with the public left facing a raft of problems with public services and the cost of living.

Asked about Labour’s prospects, she said there are “no easy answers” to the country’s problems but that the the UK needs a government which isn’t fighting in public.

What does this all mean for Rishi Sunak? Well, asked about what she’s picked up from Tory sources about the mood among rebels, Crerar said she thinks they have decided against any sort of leadership challenge.

She continued: “The Tories have reached the end of the road when it comes to the public feeling they can improve their lives, especially after damage inflicted by Truss and Johnson.”

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