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Boris Johnson Advises Voters to ‘Forget About Government’ in Bold Endorsement for Tory Mayor Andy Street Amidst West Midlands Election Tensions

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Boris Johnson urges electorate to disregard the government

The promotional materials being distributed by the campaign staff of the Conservative mayor in the West Midlands feature images of him alongside the ex-prime minister.

Assistant Political Editor @SamCoatesSky

Wednesday, May 1, 2024, 12:

Sky News has learned that the Conservative mayor of the West Midlands is distributing an endorsement to voters from Boris Johnson, in which he encourages the public to "disregard the government."

Andy Street's campaign website does not feature Rishi Sunak on its main page and uses a green color scheme instead of the traditional Conservative blue. This indicates that the mayor is positioning himself as an independent advocate, distancing from the currently unfavorable Conservative label.

Campaign materials, such as the cover of a campaign "newspaper" observed by Sky News, do not feature any reference to the Conservative leader.

The campaign team for Mr. Street, who is locked in a tight re-election race against Labour, is distributing promotional materials featuring images of him alongside the former Prime Minister Mr. Johnson. These materials acknowledge issues with the Conservative Party's image.

In his personalized letter to the electorate, Mr. Johnson acknowledges, "You may not agree with all actions taken by the Conservatives."

He states, "Put aside thoughts of the government and Westminster. This election is focused on the future of the West Midlands over the next four years – consider who you prefer to lead."

The correspondence, featuring images of Mr. Johnson and Mr. Street, was delivered to constituents as late as Tuesday.

Guide to Accessing Sky News Coverage on Local Elections

"Harsh criticism of the Prime Minister's leadership"

A representative for Mr. Johnson verified the authenticity of the letter and expressed his satisfaction in having written it.

Over the weekend, Mr. Street spoke with The Sunday Times, discussing the times he had disagreements with Mr. Sunak.

The mayoral elections in the West Midlands and Tees Valley this Thursday are crucial for Mr. Sunak's political future. However, the Conservative candidates in both races are distancing themselves from the Prime Minister as they strive to retain their positions.

Explore further: Understanding the voting forecasts for crucial locations and their implications for the upcoming general election. Here’s what you should be aware of regarding this week’s local elections.

A source from the Labour Party stated, "The advice from Rishi Sunak's predecessor for voters to disregard the government represents a severe critique of the Prime Minister's leadership capabilities."

Andy Street has separated himself from Rishi Sunak, yet appears quite eager to highlight Boris Johnson's name prominently.

"Rishi Sunak is so unpopular that his own party members believe they must distance themselves from him to secure a victory."

The contenders in the West Midlands include:

• Siobhan Harper-Nunes, representing the Green Party;

• Richard Parker, from the Labour Party;

• Sunny Virk, affiliated with the Liberal Democrats;

• Elaine Ruth Williams, member of the Reform Party;

• Akhmed Yakoob, running as an independent candidate.

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