Tory right rallies round new group Conservative Voice

New group will aim to connect grassroots with Westminster - and send the party further to the right
New group will aim to connect grassroots with Westminster - and send the party further to the right
Alex Stevenson By

Conservative right-wingers led by David Davis and Liam Fox have unveiled a new group set to pressurise David Cameron away from the centre of British politics.

The new organisation, Conservative Voice, claims its main purpose is to improve the party's electoral campaigning techniques and connect grassroots Tories with those working for the party on a professional basis.

But its biggest impact on national politics is likely to come from its third stated goal: "To be a forum for ideas and policy development and promotion that contributes to the Conservative party's next general election manifesto and beyond".

Many Conservative MPs and the party's membership across the country feel frustrated by the restrictions placed on the government by the Liberal Democrats.

While accepting the need to make some compromises with Nick Clegg's party they feel Cameron has given away too much to the coalition's junior party – and want the prime minister to be more assertive as the next general election approaches.

"Our aim is to encourage seriously ambitious policy development and to help improve the party’s campaigning edge in really practical ways," said David Davis, who lost the Tory leadership to Cameron in 2005.

"Our approach is to work from inside the party and alongside the leadership - and to actively engage with think tanks, campaigning organisations, academics and business people."

The group says it is ideologically united behind small government, low taxes, "a broad rather than deep relationship with Europe" and "radical thinking" on public service delivery.

In addition to former shadow home secretary Davis and former defence secretary Fox, prominent MPs backing the group include Dominic Raab, Priti Patel and Robert Halfon. Former Tory party National Convention chairman Don Porter is Conservative Voice's founder.

"Promoting Conservative ideas such as aspiration, free enterprise and social mobility whilst engaging voters of all backgrounds is why Conservative Voice is an important new initiative," Patel said.

Cameron is likely to face increasing calls from the right wing of his party as the next general election approaches. The most outspoken Tory MPs are already calling for the early dissolution of the coalition, enabling the Conservatives to govern with a minority in the Commons from spring 2014 in the 12 months before the next general election.


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