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Lib Dems claim ‘clear win’ in Tiverton and Honiton by-election

Votes are counted at the Lords Meadow Leisure Centre, in Crediton, Devon, for the Tiverton and Honiton by-election which was triggered by the resignation of MP Neil Parish for watching pornography in the Commons. Picture date: Thursday June 23, 2022.
Votes are counted at the Lords Meadow Leisure Centre, in Crediton, Devon, for the Tiverton and Honiton by-election which was triggered by the resignation of MP Neil Parish for watching pornography in the Commons. Picture date: Thursday June 23, 2022.

Boris Johnson looks to have suffered a humiliating defeat with the Liberal Democrats claiming to have secured a “historic victory” in the Tiverton and Honiton by-election.

The Prime Minister also faces the loss of Wakefield to Labour in a pair of by-elections which could lead to further questions about his leadership.

Ballots were cast in Wakefield and Tiverton and Honiton after contests triggered by Conservative MPs resigning in disgrace.

Tiverton and Honiton by-election
The Liberal Democrats’ by-election candidate Richard Foord (left) poses for a photograph with his wife Kate after they cast their votes (Andrew Matthews/PA)

With official results yet to be declared, the Liberal Democrats claimed victory for candidate Richard Foord in the Devon seat – which had been held with a majority of more than 24,000 by the Tories in 2019.

A Lib Dem spokesman said: “This is looking like a clear win. The people of Tiverton and Honiton have spoken up for the country.

“This is an historic victory for the Liberal Democrats and a devastating blow for those Conservative MPs who continue to prop up Boris Johnson.”

Wakefield by-election
Party officials observe the count at Thornes Park Stadium in Wakefield (Danny Lawson/PA)

Defeat for the Tories will heap pressure on Mr Johnson just weeks after 41% of his own MPs said they did not have confidence in him.

Mr Johnson, who is at a Commonwealth leaders’ summit in Rwanda, suggested it would be “crazy” for him to quit if the party lost the two seats.