WINCHESTER MP Steve Brine is blaming “Long Boris” for the predicted defeats in the byelections this week.

The MP, who is standing down at the next General Election was on BBC Radio 4’s Westminster Hour on Monday and was asked if he thought the Conservatives would lose Uxbridge and South Ruislip, previously held by Boris Johnson.

Mr Brine said: “Yeah – it’s another bit of what I call ‘long Boris’, isn’t it?”

It is a reference to long Covid, the chronic condition where sufferers are unable to throw off the impact of the disease.

The Conservatives were today facing the prospect of losing all three of the by-elections being held. The other two are in Somerton and Frome and Selby and Ainsty.

Mr Brine, who chairs the Commons health and social care committee, did add that he had no idea who would win the seat.

A Conservative colleague Sir James Duddridge, a Boris Johnson supporter, called Mr Brine’s remarks “ill-advised”.

Mr Brine had the Tory whip removed by Prime Minister Johnson in 2019 for voting against a no-deal Brexit.