Tories in denial – extracts from the papers

“I have to get on with the job of delivering for the people” – Guardian

Johnson struck a defensive tone at a press conference in the Rwandan capital of Kigali, where he is attending the Commonwealth Heads of Government summit, refusing to admit anything about his own behaviour was to blame for the byelection calamities.

“I genuinely, genuinely don’t think the way forward in British politics is to focus on issues of personalities whether they are mine or others,” he said. “No doubt people will continue to beat me up and say this or that and to attack me.”

He added: “In the end, voters, journalists, they have no one else to make their complaints to. I have to take that. But I also have to get on with the job of delivering for the people of this country and that’s what I was elected to do.”

Why did the girls speak out? Parish should never have stepped down – inews

Back in Westminster, MPs were shellshocked by the heavy defeats – not so much in Wakefield, a classic marginal where Labour was always expected to win easily, but more in Tory stronghold of Tiverton & Honiton.

“They are going bloody mental on the WhatsApp group,” one veteran backbencher commented. “We didn’t think for one moment that we were going to lose that. Voters are lying on the doorstep, like they did in 1997.”

The by-election was triggered by the resignation of former MP Neil Parish, who quit in disgrace when female colleagues saw him watching pornography in the House of Commons chamber. It was “not an ideal situation to put your standing as a party on the line”, one of the Prime Minister’s closest allies admitted.

Some Tories believe Mr Parish should never have stepped down – and even blame the women who reported him. “Parish shouldn’t have resigned,” one MP said. “He should have just gone away with his wife for a few weeks and then come back to the job. I don’t know why the girls had to speak out like that.”

Another suggested the witnesses would “feel like a turd in the swimming pool” after the party’s defeat in Tiverton – remarks likely to inflame tensions within the party, where many women already feel sidelined.

‘Anyone but Boris’ majority could doom the Tories to electoral oblivion – Telegraph

Nightmare scenario of tactical voting could put several Cabinet ministers’ majorities at risk, including the Prime Minister’s……

The electorate, rather than political parties, formed a pact with each other to do whatever it took to defeat Boris Johnson’s party. If the same were to happen again in a national poll, the result could be seismic……

Anyone wanting to know how to use their vote to topple a Tory candidate can now enter their postcode on tactical voting websites, which helpfully recommend which party they should vote for at the click of a mouse…..

Tiverton will be held up at the next election as a rallying cry in all of those safe seats where apathetic voters have stayed at home, believing their vote “won’t make any difference”. …….