Conservatives in for ‘difficult night’ in local elections

Deputy chairwoman Helen Whately admits they will be a chance to “kick the government”, amid predictions of a Brexit backlash; Alan McGuinness, political reporter/Sky News

The Conservatives are in for a “difficult night” in Thursday’s local elections, a senior party figure has admitted.

Deputy chairwoman Helen Whately admitted the poll will be a chance to “kick the government”, amid predictions of a backlash over the delay to Brexit.

Ms Whately rejected suggestions Theresa May was a 'problem' for the party
Ms Whately rejected suggestions Theresa May was a ‘problem’ for the party

Prime Minister Theresa May requested a second delay to Britain’s departure earlier this month. The EU agreed and the UK is now due to leave on 31 October – seven months later than originally planned.

The MP for Faversham and Mid Kent said she had seen “more anger than before” on the doorstep, but stressed it was frustration with politicians in general and not just her party.

She told Sky’s Sophy Ridge on Sunday: “I think there’s no doubt that it’s going to be a difficult night for us.”

Ms Whately said this was because the seats which are being contested were last up for grabs in 2015, which was a “high point” for the Tories.

When it was suggested that it was actually due to frustrations with Brexit, she said he had experienced that from voters on the doorstep, adding: “What I say to them is yes I realise that, I realise how frustrated you are with Parliament, actually I’m frustrated too as an MP.

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