The Prime Minister faced his first defeat in the Brecon and Radnorshire by-election after the Liberal Democrats made a pact with Remain parties giving them a 43.5 percent majority. The Tories secured just 39 percent of the vote with The Brexit Party coming in third with 10.5 percent of the vote. Labour suffered a crippling defeat, falling into fourth place and only taking just over 5 percent of the vote.
Tory no deal sceptics have now warned that the Liberal Democrats are a growing threat.
Pro-EU former justice minister Philip Lee said he is considering whether to move to the Liberal Democrats which could wipe out Mr Johnson’s majority.
Dr Lee said he feels “politically homeless” over the party’s new support of a no-deal Brexit following Mr Johnson’s victory.
During his podcast, On the House, Dr Lee said: “I’m really not comfortable about my party pushing for no-deal Brexit without proper consent of the public.
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“Purely on a national interest, I think it’s wrong to do this.
“But party politically I think it’s narrowing our base in a way that I don’t see how we win elections and if you don’t win elections in a democracy you don’t have power and you can’t do things you want to do.”
The Bracknell MP also said he was not the only Tory MP spending their summer reflecting on the outcome of a no deal.
He told The Guardian: “There are a number of colleagues who are spending the summer reflecting on what is the right way for them to confront this no-deal scenario.
“Of course, it is difficult for all of us because we joined the Conservative party, but it has morphed into something a lot different to what I joined in 1992.”
One former cabinet minister said they believed a number of seats were now at risk including Cheltenham, Chippenham, Guildford and even Michael Gove’s seat in Surrey Heath.
The ex-minster said: “Threatening no deal essentially hands our core seats across the south-west, south-east and south coast to the Liberal Democrats.
“We’ll lose tons of decent MPs. The Liberal Democrats will pick off lots of the big beasts in Surrey and have some spectacular gains.
“Worst of all the new northern core will never materialise – the Labour vote is tribal.
“It’s a suicidal vote strategy. I’m beginning to think Dominic Cummings is a Liberal Democrat sleeper agent.”