Dominic Grieve resorts to telling Theresa May how Tories win elections

Written by David Singleton on 28 January 2019 in Diary

The Remain-supporting MP has decided to go back to basics.

There doesn’t seem to be much point trying to get Theresa May to listen to anyone other than the right of her party these days, but some Conservative MPs are refusing to give up just yet.

For his latest effort, Dominic Grieve has taken the radical step of reminding the prime minister who blew her majority in 2017 why the Tories used to win general elections.

Writing for Prospect, he advises May that only pleasing the Tory grassroots might not be a brilliant electoral strategy in the long-term.

"As the prime minister’s career has been intimately bound up with the grassroots of party membership, she is unwilling to risk offending them...

“As a Conservative MP it is my duty to listen to colleagues and to try and find a way through. But we will not find one unless we remember that, historically, the secret of our success as a party has been our ability to provide hope, confidence and leadership for a much wider group of electoral supporters than our membership.

"Streams of emails may only be the roughest of guides, but I am struck by the numbers who write to me who once gave us their support and now do not. Unless we reassure them of our ability to deliver the quiet stable government they desire, our relevance to promoting the wellbeing of our country must be in question.

Further evidence that the Tories might need to wider their appeal on Brexit comes via former Spectator editor Matthew d’Ancona in The Guardian.

“I haven’t undergone a conversion. My values have not changed. But the Conservative party is morphing into something I find alien and repellent,” he writes.

He also quotes one-time arch-Thatcherite Michael Portillo, speaking few months after he had lost his seat in 1997:

“It is extremely important for the Conservative party to deal with the world as it now is.”



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