Patel: "The mood is dark" ahead of local elections

Conservative backbencher Priti Patel insists “the mood is dark” as the party braces for a significant backlash in the local elections on Thursday.

Speaking on BBC’s Westminster Hour, the former International Development Secretary appeared pessimistic when asked about her party’s prospects in Thursday’s poll.

Patel said: “I think without a doubt that frustration is there.

“I have heard it myself. I’ve experienced it both with my council candidates and when I’ve been on the doorstep. The mood is dark, the public are frustrated.


“They are fed up I think more widely with politics and the way in which Brexit has been handled and in particular the fact that, as many people say to me in my constituency, they expected us to leave effectively on March 29. This has not happened.”

Polling expert and Conservative peer, Lord Hayward predicts the party will haemorrhage at least 800 seats, with others predicting the loss could be as high as 1,000.

The government’s mishandling of Brexit will inevitably be a talking point on the doorsteps with grassroots Conservative activists ultimately paying the price for the parliamentary party’s incompetence.

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