Tories in Turmoil

Now here’s a former number 10 advisor and founder of the conservative home website Tim Montgomery. Tim, I don’t know if you could hear what we were talking about we were just getting on to this astonishing poll that puts the Conservative party just four points ahead of Reform UK.

I mean forget the fact that the Labour party was 25 points ahead of us it seems to be the new discussion on political shows and for those of us who care deeply around politics, you know is Reform UK going to take over the Conservatives, what do you think is going to happen Tim?

Well, good morning, Jake, good morning to your other guests. First of all, this is before Nigel Farage has potentially re-entered the fry. Nigel Farage is probably the most potent politician in Britain of the post war era, rivalling Margaret Thatcher and Tony Blair as a sort of a vote grabber. If he comes in as sort of the front person for the Reform Party, I think it won’t be long at all before the Conservative party is the third placed party in Britain’s opinion polls and we wouldn’t have predicted that a year ago, would we?

Jake no, it wouldn’t Tim but look you’ve been in fact we’ve known each other a very long time, you and I have been around Conservative Party politics very long time but what can we do about it then? You’re making us sound very old Jake; I know we are old. I had a full head of hair when you first met me but what can we do about it though Tim because you know I do recall this isn’t the first time this has happened.

Rishi is no Boris

Back in 2019 Theresa May got 8% in a national election and then Boris Johnson, they changed prime minister in the interim, he came on and won the greatest election victory the Conservative party has known since Margaret Thatcher.

So, if we accept that this is a massive issue for the Conservative party and therefore the Conservative government and those of us who are conservatives what on earth can be done about it?

Well, I don’t think we have a trick that we can play like we did in that period described. Then, people still wanted Brexit to be done there’s no issue like that that can get the country consumed by in the same way.

We were earlier in the parliament people hadn’t got so bored with us they were giving us the benefit of the doubt still and Boris Johnson was you know the night in shining armour on the other side of the hill that people knew was available as sort of the weapon for the conservative party to turn to.

There isn’t an obvious successor to Rishi Sunak in the same way so a transformation in the conservative parties’ fortunes isn’t possible. I personally still would get rid of Rishi Sunak because I think the challenge of the Conservative party now is damage limitation just stopping and the situation getting a lot worse and Rishi Sunak I’m afraid a nice man, a decent man, a family man but he can’t do politics you know.

What do the Tories Stand For?

How long has he been prime minister now? I still don’t really know what he stands for, what he believes in, what he wants to do with government and I don’t know whether you know what he wants to do with one single thing.

We do know he wants to do one thing; we do know he wants to stop the boats and of course Wednesday this week (20th March) saw 500 migrants, the highest on record this year I think this year so far.

We’re up on 10% on last year which was quite a good year, we actually cut the number of people coming over by a third and there is a belief I think in number 10 Downing Street and some of my colleagues in the Conservative party think that actually if we can stop the boats that could be a unifying rallying cry to Britain a bit like Brexit was.

What do you think of those most recent numbers with people crossing the channel, Tim?

Well, they’re appalling and I think people look at those small boats crossing the channel and I think it offends their basic idea of what government should provide. Government should be about defence of the realm, keeping our streets safe and the idea really of people breaking into the country which is effectively what is happening offends people’s idea of what good government should provide.

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Tories no longer the party of law and order

I think it’s particularly upsetting to natural conservative supporters Jake, our party has traditionally been the party of Law and Order and I think we’re failing in that regard at the moment and I don’t oppose the Rwanda bill but even if it passes in the next few days.

I appreciate what you’ve just said about being willing to be in Parliament day after day to get it passed, the numbers that Rwanda would take in terms of the number of migrants are just so small, hundreds rather than thousands, I just don’t think it is the solution that we need we need a much bigger agreement. We need a much bolder set of policies.

Tim thank you so much for joining us