Sunak declines to endorse the candidacy of Peter Bone’s partner as his replacement in the byelection.

Rishi Sunak has declined to endorse Helen Harrison, the partner of disgraced former Conservative MP Peter Bone, as the Conservative candidate for the Wellingborough seat. Harrison’s selection has sparked controversy as the byelection was triggered by a petition signed by over 10% of local voters calling for Bone’s recall due to his misconduct. Despite being asked about his support for Harrison, Sunak avoided giving a direct answer, emphasizing that candidate selection is done locally by party members. In response to campaigning with Harrison, Sunak expressed his desire to win all byelections. These remarks followed reports that Bone had threatened to stand as an independent if his girlfriend was not included in the party’s shortlist of candidates. During the event, Sunak also criticized Labour leader Keir Starmer and dismissed allegations of scrapping the Rwanda scheme during the 2022 Tory leadership campaign.

Furthermore, Sunak acknowledged the need for frankness as he admitted that not enough progress had been made in reducing NHS waiting lists, attributing some of the hindrance to strikes. He reiterated the importance of finding long-term solutions to tackle the issue and emphasized the government’s focus on stopping illegal migration via the use of the Rwanda plan as a deterrent.

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