Nicky Morgan turns the tables on Theresa May with new ‘nasty party’ warning

Written by David Singleton on 13 February 2017 in Diary

Former cabinet minister says Tories once again need to demonstrate compassion.

Almost 15 years since her ‘nasty party’ warning to her own party, Theresa May has been given a taste of her own medicine.

At the 2002, Tory conference, May told stunned delegates: “There's a lot we need to do in this party of ours. Our base is too narrow and so, occasionally, are our sympathies. You know what some people call us: the nasty party.”

Now the former education secretary Nick Morgan has made the same point – albeit without uttering the N word.

Morgan’s intervention comes after ministers announced last week announced the Dubs scheme would end after taking 350 only child refugees.

Writing for the ConservativeHome website, Morgan warned that the party could lose support at the next election if it appeared to be lacking empathy and compassion.

She highlighted correspondence from a constituent who said he could no longer support a party that seems “hellbent on completely destroying, our relationship with our mainland European neighbours, on driving the NHS onto the rocks (or into the private sector?) and on closing our doors to migrants in desperate need of our humanity”.

Morgan added: “This announcement will not, on its own, make people decide which party they will or will not support at a future election. But it, and similar decisions, will have a cumulative impact on the future decisions made by constituents like the one who emailed me,” she wrote. “It will form the basis of the judgments they make about the motivations of the Conservative party.

“Britain has always been a global, outward-facing country as well as being compassionate to those who need our help most. The Conservative party now needs to demonstrate that combination in our approach to issues such as the Dubs children.”

Morgan has already been a vocal opponent of a hard Brexit and has been part of a group of MPs calling for a debate in the Commons on the issue of unaccompanied children in Greece and Italy, which will take place on 23 February. Her latest comments will enhance the former education’s standing as a leading moderate voice in the Tories.

Back in 2002, May faced opposition from traditionalist on the right wing of her party after her 'nasty party' speech.

Today, former Tory leader Iain Duncan Smith hit back at Morgan's warning, telling LBC’s Iain Dale that it was "more an attempt to attract attention" than based in fact.

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