Tories have not connected with voters for over 30 years, says Justine Greening

Written by Dods staff on 17 May 2018 in Diary

The former cabinet minister suggested that the Tories are still seen as the nasty party.

Back in 2002 Theresa May made her name by telling a stunned Conservative Party conference that some people called them the nasty party.

More recently she tried to pin the label on Labour. “You know what some people call them? The nasty party,” she told the 2016 Tory conference, to sustained applause.

But now a former cabinet minister has suggested that the Tories have not quite managed to shed the image themselves, actually.

Speaking at a Bright Blue event in central London, Justine Greening did not use the N word. But she went close enough by saying it often felt like Conservatives were "the last” people to challenge social injustices in the UK.

The comments have been seen not only as a veiled dig at Theresa May, but also a swipe at David Cameron.

“It's unacceptable that in Britain today where you start still so much shapes and determines your future,” said Greening, who dramatically quit as education secretary in January.

“This party should be the first to want to challenge that, yet sometimes it does feel like we've been the last."

She went on to criticse her party for being too sensible and said the Tories had not connected with people's aspirations for over 30 years.

"I think we have to recognise as Conservatives that it has now been 31 years since this party last won an election with any kind of substantial majority. And I think that was the last time we were a party that really connected with people's aspirations.”

“We are a party that has traditionally connected with people’s heads. They learned that it’s sensible to vote Conservative if you want a strong economy...

“I think we haven’t won that big electoral mandate that we did in decades past because sensible isn’t enough for people. I think we have not been a party that has spoken enough to the aspirations and the challenges that younger generations of people have faced."


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