Why bother attacking Tory Party policies and front bench figures, when the party in government are doing Sir Keir Starmer’s job for him? After five rounds of voting by Tory MPs, narrowing the choice to the last two candidates, Rishi Sunak and Liz Truss finish up as the last two. Despite Ms Truss spending most of the competition in third place.
The voting of Kemi Badenoch’s 59 supporters, after she was eliminated in the previous round, was critical and it’s clear they viewed the former Liberal Democrat as more trustworthy of Conservative values (whatever they are) than her rival, Penny Mordaunt.
The collective mind of Twitter was shocked. @kerriprince_ summed it up well.
Labour MPs: "we're most worried about Penny Mordaunt"
Labour members: "we're most worried about Penny Mordaunt"
Public: "we most like Penny Mordaunt out of the bunch"
Conservative MPs: "we think it should be Liz/Rishi"
Of course, Twitter only shows the views of the most vocal and there will be many older Conservative members that have never joined social media, how they view the summer of campaigning and hustings that now follows is critical. Libertarian hopes, such as they were in this contest, rested on the shoulders of Suella Braverman and Kemi Badenoch, the only two to support the idea that free speech is of vital importance. Sadly, that subject is less likely to be debated and there is every chance the obscene Online Safety Bill will be back on the table following the summer recess.
I predict Brexit will be front and centre in the next month or so, with Rishi telling all who listen that he was a supporter all along and Liz having reversed her previous Remain stance to use her time as Trade Secretary to go out and secure free trade deals with some sixty nations, albeit the vast majority merely duplicating existing arrangements that existed due to the UK’s previous membership of the European Union.
Libertarians have a busy summer ahead, trying to put the likes of free speech and personal privacy back on the agenda. Keir Starmer can put his feet up, enjoy the sunshine and watch while the Tory party wrecks its chances of winning the election in 2024.
Martin Day – Party Secretary