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UK PM Rishi Sunak Faces Crisis as Conservative Party Suffers Heavy Defeat in Two Parliamentary By-Elections - 147 Views

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UK PM Rishi Sunak Faces Crisis as Conservative Party Suffers Heavy Defeat in Two Parliamentary By-Elections

British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak is grappling with a political crisis as his governing Conservative Party experienced significant setbacks in two parliamentary by-elections on Thursday. The special elections, outside regular cycles, resulted in victories for the main opposition party, Labour, signaling potential challenges for Sunak on a national level.

The defeats come at a challenging time for Sunak, occurring just a day after the UK officially entered a recession amid an ongoing cost-of-living crisis. Sunak’s flagship policies are also encountering obstacles, including his commitment to curb irregular migration by preventing small boats from crossing into England from France. A key government deportation policy tied to this initiative is facing delays due to accusations of breaching international law.

Traditionally strong on economic and immigration issues, the Conservative Party’s struggles in these areas raise concerns within the party, especially in a year when a general election may be called.

While expectations were set for Conservative losses in the by-elections, hopes were briefly raised when Labour became embroiled in an antisemitism scandal earlier in the week. A leaked video featuring a Labour by-election candidate making controversial claims about Israel’s role in the Hamas October 7 attack led to the withdrawal of party endorsement. The by-election, now with a different candidate, is scheduled for later this month.


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