Boris has come out 'guns blazing' with reshuffle says expert
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Oliver Dowden, the new Conservative Party chairman, addressed party headquarters last night. The former Culture Secretary was moved into his new job by Boris Johnson as part of a reshuffle of his top team.
He told staff it was important the party readied themselves now for the Prime Minister to go to the country for an election.
Mr Dowden’s orders came after he replaced Amanda Milling as chair.
His predecessor was seen as largely ineffective by Conservative members and was blamed for the Tories’ loss in the Chesham and Amersham by-election in June.
In a result that sent shock waves running through the party, the usually safe Conservative seat was won by the Liberal Democrat’s Sarah Green.
She won the by-election with a 56.7 percent vote share, a swing of over 25 percent from the Tories.
Eager to avoid similar embarrassments in future, Mr Dowden told Tory staff to get prepared for an election.
“You can’t fatten a pig on market day,” he said according to The Telegraph.
“It’s time to go to our offices and prepare for the next election.”
Parliament is in the process of scrapping the Fixed Term Parliaments Act that requires elections to be held every five years.
Once the Act is repealed, the power to call a general election will once again fall to the Prime Minister.
Mr Johnson will be free to call an election as and when he wants within a maximum five year period.
It is thought the Prime Minister is eyeing up going to the polls in 2023, a year earlier than he is required.
The exact timing of a vote would coincide with when Mr Johnson believed he is most popular amongst the public and most likely guaranteed success at the ballot box.
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The Conservatives have seen support drop in recent days following the announcement on plans to raise national insurance tax to fund health and social care.
At the weekend, a poll conducted by YouGov placed Labour ahead of the Tories for the first time since the 2019 election.
It showed the Conservatives slump five points to 33 percent, with Labour up one point to 35 percent.
It was claimed last week the Prime Minister has ambitions to lead the country for another decade, beating Margaret Thatcher’s record 11-year tenure in Downing Street.
“Boris will want to go on and on,” a Cabinet member told The Times.
“The stuff Dom [Dominic Cummings] was saying about him going off into the sunset was nonsense.
“He’s very competitive. He wants to go on for longer than Thatcher.”
Mr Cummings had previously claimed Mr Johnson was preparing to step down two years after the next election to “make money and have fun”.
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