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Boris Johnson Stirs the Pot: Urges West Midlands Voters to ‘Forget About Government’ Amidst Tory Struggles

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Boris Johnson urges constituents to disregard the government

The election group for the Conservative mayor in the West Midlands is distributing promotional materials featuring 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 a recommendation from Boris Johnson to voters, encouraging them to "disregard the government."

Andy Street's campaign website does not feature Rishi Sunak on its main page and uses green instead of the traditional Conservative blue, indicating that the mayor is positioning himself as an independent advocate rather than closely associating with the currently unfavorable Conservative label.

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

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

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

He emphasizes, "Set aside thoughts of the government and Westminster. This election focuses on the upcoming four years in the West Midlands—who do you believe should lead?"

The correspondence, which features images of Mr. Johnson and Mr. Street, was delivered to electors as late as Tuesday.

Guide to Accessing Sky News Coverage of Local Elections

"Harsh judgment on Prime Minister's leadership"

A representative for Mr. Johnson verified the authenticity of the letter and stated that he was happy to have written it.

Over the weekend, Mr. Street spoke with The Sunday Times, discussing instances where he has disagreed with Mr. Sunak.

In Thursday's elections, the outcomes of the mayoral races in the West Midlands and Tees Valley are critical to the future of Mr. Sunak. However, the Conservative candidates in both regions are distancing themselves from the Prime Minister as they strive to retain their positions.

Discover further: Insights into pivotal voting locations and their potential impact on the upcoming general election. Get all the details about this week's local elections.

A source from the Labour Party commented, "The advice from Rishi Sunak's predecessor for voters to disregard the government is a harsh criticism of the prime minister's leadership abilities."

Andy Street has seemingly kept some space between himself and Rishi Sunak, yet appears quite enthusiastic about promoting Boris Johnson prominently.

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

The additional contenders from 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, of the Reform Party;

• Akhmed Yakoob, running as an independent candidate.

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