Embattled Prime Minister Boris Johnson warned he will not undergo a “psychological transformation” following the Conservative Party’s double-defeat in this week’s by-elections.
He told BBC Radio 4’s Today Programme that bad midterm results “happen to every Government” and that he had to distinguish between “criticism that really matters and criticism that doesn’t”.
The Prime Minister was speaking from Kigali, Rwanda, as issues continued to brew closer to home – with the Government losing two Brexit-supporting seats in the by-election earlier this week.
The Conservatives lost Tiverton and Honiton to the Liberal Democrats in its worst ever by-election defeat, while also losing the ‘Red Wall’ city of Wakefield to Labour.
This led to the resignation of Oliver Dowden, a long-time political ally – who warned on Friday that “business as usual” could not continue in a letter that did not explicitly express support for Johnson.
When asked over how much blame he should take, Johnson said: “If you’re saying you want me to undergo some sort of psychological transformation, I think that our listeners will know that that is not going to happen.
“But what you can do and what the Government should do is get on with changing, reforming and improving our systems and our economy.”
Johnson survived a leadership challenge earlier this month, winning a confidence motion even though 148 MPs voted against him.