Boris Johnson has been warned the Tory majority in parliament will be “wiped out” over his coronavirus strategy in the north of England.
The prime minister ignored the wishes of Greater Manchester mayor Andy Burnham and other northern officials when they entered the highest tier of coronavirus restrictions without providing adequate financial support.
The government also ignored pleas to provide free school meals to those in need during half term and the Christmas holidays.
The decisions have caused concern among northern Tory MPs who believe there will be repercussions for their party, with more than 50 writing to the prime minister to express unhappiness with the government’s actions.
Daily Mirror columnist Kevin Maguire has warned that the prime minister could see his 80-strong majority “wiped out” should he continue to ignore the electorate in the north.
Appearing on Good Morning Britain, Maguire said that Burnham’s plea will have resonated with voters there, and will have left politicians wondering why their government did not offer more support.
“Those 55 revolting northern Tories can more than wipe out Boris Johnson’s majority in parliament.
“They want restrictions lifted, but they also want to see that will be investment in their communities. But they fear the prime minister’s ‘levelling up’ rhetoric from the last general election will just be downplayed now and they won’t get the money.”
Describing Burnham as the “King of the North”, he continued: “So those Tories will be worried that their constituents will be looking at Andy Burnham saying ‘he stood up why isn’t my MP standing up?’ And [Andrew Pierce is right] some of those seats could be lost again, the next election probably isn’t until 2024, much could happen.”
He added it was a “very big and important political moment” that Tory MPs were “confronting” the prime minister to demand change.