The leader of the Welsh Conservatives has said Boris Johnson needs to “look in the mirror” and ask himself whether he should stay in office.

Andrew RT Davies was speaking after by-election defeats for the Conservatives in Wakefield where Labour reclaimed the so-called "Red Wall" constituency, and the Devon seat of Tiverton & Honiton, where the Liberal Democrats overturned a 24,000 majority.

After the elections, party chairman Oliver Dowden resigned, while former Tory leader Michael Howard has called on Boris Johnson to quit.

And Mr Davies also appeared to suggest that the time for a change of leadership was close at hand.

He said: “Each and every day the Prime Minister gets up, like any leader, they have to look in the mirror and ask themselves ‘can they continue to deliver for their country and for the people who have put them into office?’

“I presume that’s getting far more challenging when the Prime Minister looked in the mirror these days with the messages that are coming from the ballot box such as by-elections we had last night.”

Speaking to BBC Radio Wales later, leader of the Welsh Conservatives Andrew RT Davies said that voters chose to “send a message to Westminster” in the by-elections.

“It’s a difficult night last night to say the least," he added. "Governments do face these troubles at mid-term points but they were exacerbated last night obviously by issues that have been happening in Westminster over the last eight to 10 months.

“That was very much on the doorstep relayed to me because I went down twice to help out our candidate. But ultimately, obviously, the voters chose to send a message to Westminster.”

Former Tory leader Michael Howard said a leadership campaign to replace Boris Johnson is urgent, not only electorally, but “for the good of the country”.

He said the Tories’ double by-election defeats made clear Mr Johnson no longer has the ability to win votes.

Asked whether the Prime Minister should stay in post, he told BBC Radio 4’s World at One programme: “I’m afraid I’ve very reluctantly come to the conclusion that he shouldn’t.”

He said: “I think members of the Cabinet should very carefully consider their positions as Oliver Dowden has done, and it may be necessary for the executive of the 1922 Committee to meet and to decide to change the rules so that another leadership election could take place.

“Those are the two things which I think could make a difference. But we shall have to see whether either of them comes about.”

Asked if in his eyes, electorally, it was that urgent, he said: “I think it is not only electorally, but for the good of the country. I think the country needs new leadership. And I think the time has now come to provide it.”