British Prime Minister Sunak avoids wipeout in key elections


London, July 21 (BNA): The Conservatives, led by British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak, lost two strategically important parliamentary seats on Friday, but they unexpectedly kept Boris Johnson’s old constituency in a setback for the opposition Labor Party.

The Conservatives’ narrow victory in Johnson’s seat gave Johnson some breathing room to try to narrow Labor’s large lead in the opinion polls by seeking to curb soaring inflation and ease the cost of living crisis ahead of a national election expected next year.

But his troubles have been highlighted by the loss of the former Conservative parliamentary seats Selby and Ainstee in north-east England, where Labor has ousted the Tory majority in by-elections since World War Two.

Labor leader Keir Starmer said the victory showed “how strong the demand for change is”, according to Reuters.

The Conservatives also suffered a crushing loss in another vote, but held onto Johnson’s former seat of Uxbridge and South Ruislip by less than 500 votes to ensure Sunak avoided becoming the first British leader to lose three by-elections in one day in more than half a century.

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