The Business Secretary was featured on ITV’s flagship political program Peston to discuss the government’s energy plans and the recent Tory losses in the Wakefield and Tiverton and Honiton by-elections. In Wakefield, Labor won the by-election and the Liberal Democrats stole Tiverton and Honiton, who previously had a 24,000-plus majority for the Conservatives.
In response to the loss, host Robert Peston questioned the Secretary of State about the reason for the defeat.
He asked, “If the Conservative humiliation in those two by election was mainly because voters have resolutely turned against Boris Johnson, or could there be some other reason?”
Mr. Kwarteng replied: “I don’t think it is, I think it is a pretty serious case of midterm blues.
“The by-elections were very disappointing, but I think we can definitely recover from this and I’m really looking forward to working with the Prime Minister and the government to do that.”
Despite his enthusiasm and eagerness to continue working for the Prime Minister and the government and rebuild the voter base, he hinted at a future leadership bid.
Mr Peston said: “I’ve seen episode one of Channel 4’s new series ‘Undeclared War’ which I think will be released quite soon.
“The new Prime Minister after Boris Johnson in this series is played by Adrian Lester who went to Eton, and you know who he is, so here we are.
“Channel 4 says you’re going to be the next prime minister!”
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He replied: “I never define myself in or out of anything that Robert knows, I am very aware of that, but I am 100 per cent focused on supporting the Prime Minister to ensure we perform and we can be re-elected under Boris.” Johnson’s leadership.”
A YouGov poll for The Times on general elections showed that if there had been elections on June 22 and 23, Labor would have come out on top.
This directly contradicts Mr Kwarteng’s view that the Conservatives listen to the voters and give them what they want.