100 Tory MPs have tonight formed the new parliamentary council of the Thatcherite group Conservative Way Forward. Eight Cabinet ministers – Sajid Javid, Chris Grayling, Liam Fox, Michael Gove, Esther McVey, Jeremy Hunt, David Davis and David Gauke – are among them. This is a much needed push from the sounder wing of the Tories to fight back against the ever wetter direction of the party. And the increasing prevalence of Corbyn-friendly views among some voters.
At a reception at the IoD this evening, new CWF chairman Conor Burns made the case for freedom and talked up CWF’s nine principles of democracy, capitalism, deregulation, freedom, community, enterprise, nationhood, security and choice. Some good words on Brexit too:
The British people voted to again be and independent self-governing country. We – unlike the establishment – believe not that this is some disaster that needs to be mitigated but rather an opportunity to be embraced. We want to build a modern, outward looking, liberal country that trades with the world. As we approach the second anniversary of that historic vote we hear the quiet but strong instruction of the people. Insistent they tell us clearly: get on with it. We are not renegotiating our membership of the EU. We are leaving. The public knew exactly what they were voting for – indeed the Government used millions of their money to tell them.
We are leaving the Customs Union. Leaving the Single Market. The Supreme Court in London will now be THE supreme court of the United Kingdom. The Prime Minister could not have been clearer on Britain’s Brexit red lines. And she will have the support of Conservative Way Forward as she delivers them. Every one of CWF’s new Parliamentary Council will be in the lobby next week supporting the Prime Minister and upholding the democratic decision of the British people.
Boris was the keynote speaker, calling for his colleagues to back leaving the customs union and remake the case for free trade. He branded Corbyn a Chavez apologist and vest-wearing Marxist condoner of anti-Semitism.
About time this wing of the Tory party stood up to Theresa May’s joyless statism of sugar taxes, energy caps and price controls, and the Ruth Davidson / Philip Hammond view that they need to tax more, spend more and regulate more. 100 MPs and eight Cabinet ministers is an impressive and encouraging reminder that there are some friends of freedom left in the Tory party…