North Shropshire by-election defeat down to public mood on pandemic, says Tory MP

18 December 2021, 21:31 | Updated: 18 December 2021, 21:38

By Tim Dodd

The Conservatives' defeat in the North Shropshire by-election was "overall" because of public concern about the pandemic and the government's response, Tory MP for Wokingham John Redwood tells LBC.

Mr Redwood also claimed the result was down to public concerns about "taxes sandbagging the economy" and worries "about the energy situation".

Lib Dem Helen Morgan was declared the winner in the North Shropshire by-election in the early hours of Friday morning, defeating the Tories by 5,925 votes in the ballot triggered by the resignation of Owen Paterson.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson yesterday spoke out over a "constant litany of stuff" in the media about politics and politicians in recent weeks after the 'very disappointing' drubbing in the North Shropshire by-election.

Camilla Tominey asked the Tory MP: "John, what do you think went wrong in North Shropshire?"

"There were thousands of people who used to vote Conservative who didn't want to vote for anybody. They [were] clearly signifying that they weren't happy with the performance of the government led by the Prime Minister," he replied.

"A number of people decided to make a protest point by voting Liberal Democrat.

"They may have seen the Liberal Democrats opposing vaccine passports... which might have tipped a few votes in the way of Liberal Democrats.

"I think overall, it's because the mood of the nation, not just of that by-election area, is very concerned because we want the pandemic response over, we want a decent economic recovery, we don't want to see more damage to a big part of our economy that relies on social contact."