The Sunday Telegraph

The Tories have misjudged the mood in their southern heartlands

- Brockenhur­st, Hampshire

SIR – There is little doubt that the relaxation of planning laws, along with the HS2 white elephant project, cost the Conservati­ves the Chesham and Amersham by-election.

Communitie­s throughout the route have seen property, woodlands and habitats destroyed, just so that an elite few can cut half an hour off their train journeys. The billions earmarked for this scheme would have been much better spent on upgrading existing lines and reopening some of those closed under Beeching.

This Conservati­ve defeat may not be the last.

Jim Sokol

Minehead, Somerset

SIR – The Conservati­ves have paid the price for pursuing the cripplingl­y expensive vanity project that is HS2.

Everywhere on the route, communitie­s are being blighted by noisy, intrusive constructi­on that will continue for years to come.

People in northern Red Wall communitie­s don’t see anything positive about HS2 either, because its completion is so far away and its benefits so unclear.

It was a Labour idea which the Conservati­ves had many opportunit­ies to cull. But they failed to do so – and now the chickens are coming home to roost.

Paul Blundell

Byfield, Northampto­nshire

SIR – Will the Liberal Democrats take the hint and make the cancellati­on of this costly, harmful project a national policy – or will Boris Johnson beat them to it?

Rob Lowe

Daventry, Northampto­nshire

SIR – I wonder how many former Conservati­ve voters in Chesham and Amersham voted Lib Dem because they were thoroughly fed up with the Government’s over-the-top Covid laws and wanted to retaliate by taking a Tory scalp.

I have voted Conservati­ve for 45 years – but if I lived there I would have voted Lib Dem as well. Good luck to ’em.

Peter Holt Wellington, Shropshire

SIR – Labour stopped listening to the people and lost to the Conservati­ves.

It seems very likely that this Conservati­ve Government is now being punished over its handling of the pandemic, and its inaction over illegal cross-Channel migration. It too has stopped listening to the people, and indeed many of its own MPs.

Perhaps the Government thinks it has time (and seats) to spare. But that is no excuse for taking voters for granted. David Rammell

Everton, Hampshire

SIR – Given that we appear to have pseudo Lib Dems and Greens running the country at the moment, perhaps the constituen­ts of Chesham and Amersham thought they might just as well vote for the real thing.

Keith Chambers

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