Tories must aim to be broad church, urges Cleverly

by | Jul 10, 2024 | Politics

1 hour agoBy Paul Seddon, Political reporterGetty ImagesPotential Tory leadership contender James Cleverly has urged the party not to “narrow our offer” as it seeks to rebuild after its election thrashing.Writing in the Times, the shadow home secretary said the party should aim to be a “broad church” to win back voters from left and right.It comes after senior Tories on the right of the party urged it to focus on winning back former Tory voters who opted for Nigel Farage’s Reform UK.On Tuesday, former cabinet minister Suella Braverman urged the party to build its offer around “core Conservative policies”.Addressing a right-wing Tory group on Tuesday, she backed a departure from the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR) and accused government bodies of harbouring a “lunatic woke virus”.So far no Tory MPs have declared they will run in the contest to replace former prime minister Rishi Sunak as the next Conservative leader.A timetable is yet to be announced, with a number of Tories suggesting they would favour a longer contest concluding later this year.Arriving at the Spectator magazine’s Westminster garden party on Tuesday evening, ex-party chair Richard Holden said he expected a new leader to be decided “at the back end of the year”.Former Brexit secretary David Davis echoed this, saying he expected the result would not be known “until about Christmas”.Other possible leadership contenders include Kemi Badenoch, Tom Tugendhat, Victoria Atkins, all ministers under Mr Sunak at the election.Former home secretary Priti Patel has also been tipped to run, as has Robert Jenrick, who quit as Mr Sunak’s immigration minister last year after a row over legislation to deliver the now-ditched Rwanda deportation scheme.The Conservative vote dropped to 6.8m in last week’s election, down from 13.9m at the last election in 2019, sparking a furious debate over what the party should do next as it seeks to recover its standing with voters.Reform UK, which ran on a platform of cutting migration, slashing foreign aid and leaving the ECHR, garnered 4.1m votes, winning give seats.’Credible opposition’Some figures on the right of the party, including Ms Braverman, have said the focus should be on winning back Reform voters, many of whom backed the Conservatives at the 2019 election.But in his Times article, Mr Cleverly warned: “The Conservative Party has always been at its best when it embraces being a broad church.”We lost voters to the left and the right, and we won’t win them all back if we narrow our offer,” he added.He said the party should not “descend into bitter infighting and finger pointing”, adding that the immediate focus should be becoming a “credible opposition” to Sir Keir Starmer’s newly-minted Labour government.Member voting roleRules for the contest are yet to be decided, with some Tories arguing that the current system, under which MPs choose two contenders to go before a vote of party activists, should be overhauled.Some Tories have said party members should lose their casting vote on the winner – a move t …

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[mwai_chat context=”Let’s have a discussion about this article:nn1 hour agoBy Paul Seddon, Political reporterGetty ImagesPotential Tory leadership contender James Cleverly has urged the party not to “narrow our offer” as it seeks to rebuild after its election thrashing.Writing in the Times, the shadow home secretary said the party should aim to be a “broad church” to win back voters from left and right.It comes after senior Tories on the right of the party urged it to focus on winning back former Tory voters who opted for Nigel Farage’s Reform UK.On Tuesday, former cabinet minister Suella Braverman urged the party to build its offer around “core Conservative policies”.Addressing a right-wing Tory group on Tuesday, she backed a departure from the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR) and accused government bodies of harbouring a “lunatic woke virus”.So far no Tory MPs have declared they will run in the contest to replace former prime minister Rishi Sunak as the next Conservative leader.A timetable is yet to be announced, with a number of Tories suggesting they would favour a longer contest concluding later this year.Arriving at the Spectator magazine’s Westminster garden party on Tuesday evening, ex-party chair Richard Holden said he expected a new leader to be decided “at the back end of the year”.Former Brexit secretary David Davis echoed this, saying he expected the result would not be known “until about Christmas”.Other possible leadership contenders include Kemi Badenoch, Tom Tugendhat, Victoria Atkins, all ministers under Mr Sunak at the election.Former home secretary Priti Patel has also been tipped to run, as has Robert Jenrick, who quit as Mr Sunak’s immigration minister last year after a row over legislation to deliver the now-ditched Rwanda deportation scheme.The Conservative vote dropped to 6.8m in last week’s election, down from 13.9m at the last election in 2019, sparking a furious debate over what the party should do next as it seeks to recover its standing with voters.Reform UK, which ran on a platform of cutting migration, slashing foreign aid and leaving the ECHR, garnered 4.1m votes, winning give seats.’Credible opposition’Some figures on the right of the party, including Ms Braverman, have said the focus should be on winning back Reform voters, many of whom backed the Conservatives at the 2019 election.But in his Times article, Mr Cleverly warned: “The Conservative Party has always been at its best when it embraces being a broad church.”We lost voters to the left and the right, and we won’t win them all back if we narrow our offer,” he added.He said the party should not “descend into bitter infighting and finger pointing”, adding that the immediate focus should be becoming a “credible opposition” to Sir Keir Starmer’s newly-minted Labour government.Member voting roleRules for the contest are yet to be decided, with some Tories arguing that the current system, under which MPs choose two contenders to go before a vote of party activists, should be overhauled.Some Tories have said party members should lose their casting vote on the winner – a move t …nnDiscussion:nn” ai_name=”RocketNews AI: ” start_sentence=”Can I tell you more about this article?” text_input_placeholder=”Type ‘Yes'”]
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