Cabinet minister quits after Tories wiped out in double by-election loss

A cabinet minister has quit saying ‘someone has to take responsibility’ after the Tories suffered humiliating losses in two by-elections.

Last night saw Tiverton and Honiton swing to the Lib Dems while Labour regained control of Wakefield.

The contests, triggered by the resignation of disgraced Tories, offered voters the chance to give their verdict on the prime minister just weeks after 41% of his own MPs said they did not have confidence in his leadership.

Boris Johnson, who is 4,000 miles away in Rwanda, ruled out quitting even before the crushing results came in, branding the idea ‘crazy’.

Conservative chairman Oliver Dowden made the dramatic decision to quit moments before he was due to appear on air to discuss the double defeats.

In a letter to the PM he said: ‘Yesterday’s parliamentary by-elections are the latest in a run of very poor result for our party.

‘Our supporters are distressed and disappointed by recent events, and I share their feelings.

‘We cannot carry on with business as usual. Somebody must take responsibility and I have concluded that, in these circumstances, it would not be right for me to remain in office.’

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