Letter: Boris Johnson rather than Rishi Sunak is responsible for Conservatives' general election defeat

A letter from R G McDowell:
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Letters to editor

Some Conservatives were blaming Rishi Sunak both before and after their election defeat for their poor fortunes lamenting the removal of Boris Johnson but I think the decimation of the centre right is actually Boris Johnson’s legacy.

Rishi Sunak made a few mistakes over D-Day, etc but most of his problems were either a legacy of his two predecessors or the poor conduct of others in his party.

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He warned the Liz Truss campaign not to be reckless with their budget during their initial leadership campaign. He came in afterwards and stabilised the economy.

Any government would have had a tough time paying for the aftermath of covid; he helped reduce inflation to a more manageable level and encouraged an anti-smoking agenda.

These are reasonable achievements having come to power at a time when the Conservatives had become unleadable and incredibly ill disciplined. I think he did well in the circumstances.

He didn’t of course repair the damage done to the Union by Boris Johnson and while the GB electorate sadly didn’t inflict such a devastating electoral defeat over the issue of Northern Ireland, the unreliability of the Boris Johnson Conservative party that is reflected in NI policy is most definitely tied to it.

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Not even one Conservative MP exhibited the unionist convictions of someone like Ian Gow in the aftermath of the 1985 Anglo-Irish Agreement.

They ceased to be unionist, having caused the most significant rupture in the Union since the Irish Republic broke away with the Irish Sea border.

They ceased to be Conservative by having one of the most reckless and damaging budgets in British history under Liz Truss.

They ceased to be traditional by condemning wokery while presiding over its expansion, and they completely betrayed Brexit.

It was a well deserved defeat. Conservative minded citizens can but hope that a more authentic Conservative and Unionist Party might arise out of the ashes.

R G McDowell, Belfast BT5