Boris Johnson blames 'Pied Piper' Nigel Farage for role in 'destruction' of Tories

Boris Johnson says Nigel Farage played a "significant" role in the "destruction" of the Tories – while taking a swipe at those who ousted him from Number 10 back in 2022.

The Conservatives endured a crushing defeat in the general election with numerous big name casualties, as Labour secured a landslide victory.

Reform UK have secured five seats in the House of Commons including one for its leader Mr Farage, who succeeded in being elected in Clacton, Essex.

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Former prime minister Mr Johnson has dissected his party's performance in his Daily Mail column, saying the reasons why the Tories lost so many MPs were "complex" - but "the Yucatan asteroid in this catastrophe was obvious: it was Reform".

Mr Johnson claimed to have heard from one Tory MP who "fully expected to win" but realised at the last minute "thousands" of Tory voters were opting for Reform, which in turn gave Labour a majority over both rivals.

"Repeat that phenomenon across the political landscape, and you begin to grasp the cause of the landslide," he added, before turning his attention to Mr Farage.

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He wrote: "I am afraid that the cheroot-puffing Pied Piper of Clacton has played a significant part - as he no doubt intended - in the destruction of the Tory government."

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Mr Johnson then offered advice for the Tories, while alluding to his own exit from Downing Street in June 2022.

"When we get back in, don't be too hasty to get rid of successful election-winning leaders," he said.

"As I never tire of telling people, some polls put us only two or three points behind, in the days before I was forced to resign in what was really a media-driven hoo-ha."

Mr Johnson resigned as PM after a wave of controversies including partygate and his handling of the Chris Pincher scandal, with the latter prompting more than 50 resignations from the government payroll.

Another Tory figure has placed blame for the general election results firmly at the feet of Mr Johnson and his successor Liz Truss.

Speaking on Sky News, Conservative peer Lord Patten said: "This is the oldest party in democratic history and it's now been reduced to rubble by awful fractures and lousy policies and a collapse of any sense of values.

"It hasn't been ruined by Rishi Sunak. It's been ruined by people like Boris Johnson and Liz Truss and others."

As Sir Keir Starmer and the Labour Party settle into government, the Tories are facing a leadership election after Rishi Sunak announced his resignation.

Candidates are yet to officially declare if they'll run to replace Mr Sunak, but MPs expected to put themselves forward include former cabinet ministers Kemi Badenoch, Suella Braverman and James Cleverly.