Boris' war chest: PM asks Tory members to cough up cash amid talk of an early election


Boris Johnson, 57, sent the letter, dubbed the “critical seats appeal”, to many of the Conservatives’ 200,000 members in a bid to fill the party’s coffers before Britons are next asked to go to the polls. According to the letter’s small print, ex-members and people who have previously donated to the Tory Party may also have received a copy of the Prime Minister’s plea.

Writing to Tory supporters, Mr Johnson warned the Conservative Party “can’t afford to be complacent” following its landslide victory in the 2019 general election.

“We need to communicate the work we’re doing to level up the country – particularly in the seats that gave us our majority,” he wrote.

“That’s why I am launching this urgent appeal and personally asking you to contribute. Only with your help can we protect what we’ve achieved.

“At the last election, we won 16 seats by fewer than one thousand votes. Trust me: these seats will decide the next election.

“Labour and the Lib Dems know this too well.”

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Mr Johnson added: “So I’m asking you to donate once again.

“You can help us raise the profile of MPs in our most marginal seats – and help us reach the voters who put us there.”

The Prime Minister’s plea comes after much speculation about when he will call the next general election.

The Fixed Term Parliaments Act means Mr Johnson must call an election by 2024 – five years after he trounced Jeremy Corbyn in the Conservatives’ largest election victory since 1987 in the UK’s first December poll since 1923.

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However, following the Cabinet reshuffle in September, the Telegraph reports the new party chairman Oliver Dowden has called for CCHQ to enter election mode and prepare for an early poll in 20 months time.

Despite speculation of an early election, current polling for the Prime Minister’s party remains mixed.

While the Conservatives have registered leads in 98 out of the last 100 opinion polls, surveys conducted in the so-called Red and Blue Walls puts support for the Conservative Party down from 2019.

YouGov’s MRP poll in the Brexit-backing constituencies stretching from Delyn to North West Durham showed the Tories could lose up to 32 Red Wall MPs and a similar poll conducted by the same pollster in July indicates the Conservatives’ could lose an extra 16 seats constituencies in their Remain-voting southern heartland.

The party already suffered a shock defeat at the hands of the Liberal Democrats earlier this year when they lost the Blue Wall seat of Chesham & Amersham with a swing of more than 25 percent.

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However, Britain Elects’ overall tracker suggests the Tories would narrowly cling onto their majority if an election were held tomorrow – on just 333 seats.

Sarah Olney, the Liberal Democrat MP for Richmond Park, 44, told Express.co.uk she was not surprised by the Prime Minister’s appeal.

“It’s no surprise the Tories are running scared,” she said.

“Dozens of Blue Wall seats are on a knife edge after they lost their crown jewel councils of Oxfordshire and Cambridgeshire to us in May.

“The stunning Lib Dem win in Chesham & Amersham sent a shockwave through British politics, showing it is a two horse race in the Blue Wall between the Lib Dems and Tories.”

Ms Olney added: “The Conservative Party is so arrogant they think they can just buy the Blue Wall.

“In reality, people across the Blue Wall feel taken for granted by the Conservatives.

“It’s sad to see this new desperate lunge for cash which will do nothing to solve the years of neglect they show to voters.”

Express.co.uk has also approached CCHQ and the Labour Party’s press office for further comment on Mr Johnson’s “critical seat appeal”.



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