Liz Truss and Jacob Rees-Mogg among big-name Conservative losses (2024)

Paul Seddon

Political reporter

Christy Cooney

BBC News

Former prime minister Liz Truss has lost her seat in Labour’s landslide election victory, as the Conservatives slump to a historic defeat.

She lost her South West Norfolk constituency to Labour by 630 votes, having previously held a huge 24,180 majority.

The ex-premier was among a clutch of senior Tories ejected from Parliament, in a result set to reshape the direction of the party.

These include Commons leader Penny Mordaunt, who was tipped as a future Tory leadership contender, and former cabinet minister Sir Jacob Rees-Mogg.

But Chancellor Jeremy Hunt, who had been seen as vulnerable in his Godalming and Ash constituency, managed to hold on with a slender 891 majority.

Speaking after her defeat, Ms Truss said her party had not "delivered sufficiently" in areas such as "keeping taxes low” and reducing immigration.

Asked if she would stay on in Conservative politics, Ms Truss said “I’ve got a lot to think about” and asked people to “give me a bit of time".

'Taken a battering'

With only a small number of seats left to declare, the Conservatives are heading for a historic loss in terms of seats after a dramatic 20 point decline in support.

The party lost a string of seats in southern England to the Liberal Democrats, who have won over 70 seats and are set for their best result in a century.

They have also seen their vote squeezed by Reform UK, which has won 14% of the vote and five seats, including Nigel Farage in Clacton.

Unlike the last election in 2019, when as the Brexit Party it stood aside in more than 300 Tory-held seats, Reform's decision to field candidates across Britain contributed to heavy Tory losses, particularly in Brexit-voting areas.

Twelve ministers attending cabinet have lost their seats, including Defence Secretary Grant Shapps, Justice Secretary Alex Chalk and Technology Secretary Michelle Donelan.

Conceding the election after he was re-elected in Richmond and Northallerton, Prime Minister Rishi Sunak called the results a "sobering verdict” for his party.

Speaking after losing her seat, Ms Mordaunt said her party had "taken a battering because it failed to honour the trust that people had placed in it".

She warned against "talking to an ever smaller slice of ourselves," adding, "if we want again to be the natural party of government, then our values must be the people's".

In other high-profile Tory losses:

  • Veterans Minister Johnny Mercer lost to Labour in Plymouth Moor View

  • Education Secretary Gillian Keegan lost to the Liberal Democrats in Chichester, a West Sussex seat the Tories have held for a century

  • Culture Secretary Lucy Frazer lost Ely and East Cambridgeshire, also to the Liberal Democrats

  • Chief Whip Simon Hart - in charge of party discipline - lost to Plaid Cymru in Caerfyrddin, as the Tories lost all their seats in Wales

Former justice secretary Sir Robert Buckland, who also lost his seat, told the BBC his party faced "electoral Armageddon".

He said too many Conservatives had focused on "personal agendas and jockeying for position" instead of "concentrating on doing the job that they were elected to do".

"I've watched colleagues strike poses, write inflammatory op-eds, and say stupid things they have no evidence for, instead of concentrating on doing the job that they were elected to do," the former justice secretary said.

He said former home secretary Suella Braverman, who savaged Mr Sunak's election strategy in a newspaper article days before polls opened, was "not an isolated example" of this behaviour.

"I'm fed up of personal agendas and jockeying for position. The truth is now with the Conservatives facing electoral Armageddon, it's going to be like a group of bald men arguing over a comb."

Sir Robert said for the party to move further to the right would be a "disastrous mistake" that "would send us into the abyss".

'Thank God'

Speaking earlier, before his defeat, Sir Jacob said it was “clearly a terrible night” for his party, that had come to take its “core vote for granted”.

“We need to win voters at every single election. If you take your base for granted... your voters will look to other parties.”

He thought the party had made a mistake by ousting Boris Johnson, who led it to victory in the 2019 election but was forced to step down as prime minister in 2022 following a series of scandals.

Former minister Steve Baker, who lost his Wycombe seat to Labour, told the BBC he was glad to have lost, adding, “thank God I’m free”.

He added that it had been a privilege to be an MP, but politicians now suffered lots of abuse and his house is now "like Fort Knox”.

“I will not be coming back, you can have that as an exclusive,” he added.

Related Topics

  • Conservative Party
  • Jacob Rees-Mogg
  • Mel Stride
  • Steven Baker
  • Robert Buckland
  • General election 2024
Liz Truss and Jacob Rees-Mogg among big-name Conservative losses (2024)


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