It used to be said that if you put a donkey on the ballot paper in Chesham and Amersham and stuck a blue rosette on its hind quarters it would still win. Not any more. 

In a result which has sent shockwaves through Westminster the Liberal Democrats overturned the Tories’ 16,000 majority to win by 8,028 votes in the two previously true blue Chiltern towns and their surrounding villages. 

Patrick Sawer spoke to lifelong Tories to find out why they left the party behind. 

Boris Johnson has today rejected the "bizarre" suggestion that he is neglecting southern voters, while Camilla Tominey has the inside story on how Conservative headquarters was outgunned by the Liberal Democrat ground war. 

If you have not already, it is well worth taking advantage of our June sale to gain access to all this analysis and more for only £1 for three months.

How worried, then, should the Tories be? Ben Butcher has four charts showing you only need to look back a couple of months to notice the potential for a major swing in the area. 

Danielle Sheridan examines whether the Lib Dems can become a real threat to the Blue Wall. 

Ben Riley-Smith analyses why the by-election defeat shows the Prime Minister may be paying the price for his Red Wall focus, while Allister Heath goes further and warns this is only the start of a southern revolt against Mr Johnson’s high-tax, eco-extreme agenda. 

Meanwhile, Sir Keir Starmer’s election strategy is "in tatters" after Labour’s candidate took just 1.6pc of the vote – the party’s worst ever by-election defeat.

EU loses court case against vaccine maker AstraZeneca

AstraZeneca has claimed victory in its legal case against the EU after a court in Brussels found that the bloc should not be given priority over other countries for jabs. The judge at the Brussels court ordered that AstraZeneca deliver 80 million doses of its vaccine by the end of September, well below the 300 million that the European Commission had been seeking. It dismissed EU claims that it should have exclusivity or right of priority over all other countries that AstraZeneca had struck deals with. Meanwhile, the proportion of people dying in England fell to another record low in May, according to the latest official data.

Tartan Army take over London ahead of England clash

Thousands of Scottish fans have ignored advice not to travel to London without a ticket for tonight’s England v Scotland clash or a table booked at a pub. Amid raucous scenes, Nicola Sturgeon has urged thousands of Scotland fans not to be "racist" after footage emerged of supporters singing anti-English songs. Scotland may be ranked only the 44th-best nation in the world but Jason Burt analyses why they also represent the sternest test England have faced since the World Cup semi-final defeat by Croatia. Follow the match live here. Earlier Sweden were 1-0 winners against Slovakia and you can follow Croatia vs Czech Republic live here.

At a glance: Coronavirus evening briefing

  • Covid liveblog | Lloyd Webber rejects PM’s live event trial offer
  • Work from home | Government insists it will not force office return
  • Lateral flow | Williamson urges parents to continue testing children
  • Travel latest | Italy imposes quarantine on UK arrivals
  • Wedding chaos | Why it is better to wait until 2022 to get married

Also in the news: Today’s other headlines

Greece murder | The Greek husband of Caroline Crouch, the young British woman who was murdered in front of her baby daughter, hugged and comforted her mother at a memorial ceremony, hours before the helicopter pilot confessed to the killing. Read on for details.

  • ‘I am innocent’ | Tory MP accused of sexually assaulting boy, 15
  • Duchess of Cambridge | Kate launches Early Childhood Centre
  • Bear rampage | Animal brings chaos to Japanese city before it is shot
  • England’s last dinosaur | Footprints found near White Cliffs of Dover
  • Giant rhino | Creature taller than giraffe ‘may be largest land mammal’

Around the world: Kim ‘ready for negotiations with US’

Kim Jong-un has declared North Korea should be ready for negotiations with the US, striking an unusually conciliatory note amid a growing economic crisis that has led to dire shortages of fuel and food. The dictator’s comments come just days after America and others urged the totalitarian regime to abandon its nuclear program and return to talks. Read how Kim has hinted at the scale of the problem facing the country.

Friday big-read

Cesc Fabregas: How it feels to play in the world’s fiercest derbies

Cesc Fabregas celebrates scoring against Tottenham in 2007

Credit: Getty Images

As England take on Scotland in the kind of game that can change a player’s career or create some history, Euros and World Cup winner Cesc Fabregas – a veteran of big clashes at Arsenal, Barcelona and Chelsea – reveals what it is like preparing for such a big occasion

Read the full article

Comment and analysis

  • Theresa Villiers | PM must cut housing targets after by-election loss
  • Ross Clark | Elites’ exemption from travel curbs becoming a problem
  • Matthew Lesh | Victory for Nimbys no reason to halt planning reform
  • Jeremy Warner | Brexit shouldn’t mean regulation and red tape
  • Calvin Robinson | Football fans have a right to boo BLM obsession

Editor’s choice

Sally Solves | ‘I got landed with a £11,000 energy bill for an empty property’

The Midults | ‘Help! I’m constantly snapping at my husband and can’t shake it’

‘You feel sad for them’ | Why GB News’ biggest, funniest critic doesn’t want it to fail

Business and money briefing

Furlough fears | The economy is rebounding and allowing some companies to repay furlough cash, but fears mount that many workers are trapped in ‘zombie’ jobs. Hannah Boland and Tim Wallace analyse why the furlough scheme may be doing more harm than good.

  • Flexible jobs | Deloitte tells staff they can work from home forever
  • British ban | Sausage wars herald a banger bonanza for NI
  • On top of markets | Live stocks and shares updates 24 hours a day

Sport briefing

Spurs manager blow | Tottenham have re-started their search for a new manager after talks with Gennaro Gattuso broke down. The Italian was in the frame for the job after Spurs pulled out of the race for Paulo Fonseca but his potential appointment was met with fierce criticism from fans. He is the fifth head coach considered by Daniel Levy.

  • US Open | Play gets underway in second round – live updates
  • Gavin Mairs | My Gallagher Premiership semi-final predictions
  • Rugby’s Mr Motivator | How it feels to play for Pat Lam

Three things for tonight

  • Watch | A Pandemic Poem: Where Did the World Go? BBC Two, 9pm
  • Listen | Chopper’s Politics: Ireland to follow UK out of EU, says Hoey
  • Play | Telegraph Puzzles featuring today’s Crossword and Sudoku

And finally… for this evening’s downtime

Great outdoors | Forget the old stereotypes of cramped living conditions and drab interiors – exploring the UK in your own mobile space is back in vogue. With foreign holidays seemingly unreliable, Alice Hall reveals how millennials made caravanning cool again.

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