Tories rebrand themselves as the ‘Workers’ Party’
The Conservative Party are to rebrand themselves the "Workers' Party" in an attempt to change their image as a party for the rich.
David Cameron's party will keep it's official name but MPs will be encouraged to refer to themselves by the "workers' party" moniker in public statements.
Tory chairman Grant Shapps will today deliver a speech, alongside former prime minister John Major, saying that the party is determined to deliver a "classless society".
"The Conservatives are the Workers' party and we are on your side," he will say.
"Sir John Major campaigned for what he called a 'classless society, and I would argue this is the society we are fighting for in government today: a Britain where it doesn't matter who your parents are, where you can go as far as your talents and hard work will take you, and where work – rather than benefits – is what pays."
The rebranding follows polls which show that David Cameron is struggling to secure the support of low-earners.
Conservative MPs in marginal constituencies have complained that the prime minister is failing to do enough to win over enough voters in working class areas.
They believe he has surrounded himself with an elite group, most of whom went to the same school.
One Tory MP told the Financial Times: "There are six people writing the manifesto and five of them went to Eton; the other went to St Paul’s".
Backbencher Pauline Latham added to the criticism, saying that the prime minister was stuck in "the prism of London"
"I am sure he listens to Samantha Cameron a lot but he is never going to listen to me. Everything is looked at through the prism of London, by people from London. We should have regional input."
Influential backbencher Robert Halfon has pushed for the rebranding so that the party can "never again… be allowed to be called the party for the rich".
He wants the Tories to replace their logo of a green tree, with a ladder to symbolise the party's "moral mission" to workers.
He has also called for the party to reduce membership fees to £1 so that "it could more of a trade union than a political party".
"None of this is rocket science but there is a huge opportunity here," he added.
It is not yet clear whether the party's rebranding will be accompanied by any changes in policy.
Last year Shapps unveiled plans to make it easier for employers to fire workers, saying that they would no longer have to come up with "disingenious reasons" to get rid of staff.
The Conservatives have also made it more difficult for workers to object to dismissals, introducing large fees for employees wishing to take employers to a tribunal.
Labour today derided the Conservative's attempts at rebranding saying they would be: "better off renaming themselves the millionaires' party.”
“You can't pose as the 'workers' party' when you've made working people £1,600 worse off while cutting taxes for the wealthiest," Labour’s shadow Cabinet Office minister Jonathan Ashworth MP said.
"Under David Cameron, for the first time more than half of households in poverty are in work. He has made his choice: standing up for a privileged few, not for working families.
“Labour has always been the workers' party – the clue is in the name."