Hereford and South Herefordshire MP Jesse Norman has re-stated his call for the Prime Minister to step down, following the Conservatives’ twin losses in yesterday’s by-elections.

The Liberal Democrats overturned a 24,000 Tory majority in Tiverton and Honiton in Devon, while Labour re-took Wakefield in West Yorkshire, having lost it to the Conservatives at the 2019 general election.

Reiterating a call he made in a letter to Boris Johnson earlier this month, Mr Norman this morning tweeted:

“For you to prolong this charade not only insults the electorate, and the people who support, volunteer, represent and campaign for our party; it makes a decisive change of government at the next election much more likely. That is potentially catastrophic for this country.”

The MP also this morning described as “fascinating” an account of a focus group of swing voters in Tiverton and Honiton who voted Conservative in 2019, carried out last month by former pollster for the Prime Minister’s office James Johnson (no relation).

This found none planned to vote Tory in this week’s by-election, “and all bar one said they will vote for the Lib Dems”, Mr Johnson reported. “Boris Johnson is a direct block to them voting Conservative again.”

The voters’ prime concerns were “much the same as other people’s” – the cost of living, local issues including the NHS, doctors’ absences, potholes and housing developments in green areas – all of which “stacked heavily in the Lib Dems’ favour”, Mr Johnson said.

“Definitely grounds for Conservative concern and a reminder of how damaged their brand is in the South,” Mr Johnson concluded.

Mr Norman said the findings “should be of serious concern to every conservative, large-C or small-c, in this country. And that’s a lot of people.”

His Herefordshire parliamentary colleague Sir Bill Wiggin MP has been approached for comment.