Picture by Simon Walker / No 10 Downing Street

Conservatives will fight general election as ‘underdogs’, party chairman says

The Conservatives will fight the election as the “underdogs”, the party’s chairman has said.

Speaking to the Conservative conference floor yesterday, Greg Hands, who was appointed party chairman in Febuary, said: “This is likely to be a general election where the Conservatives enter as the underdogs.

“I know in recent years you will have had difficult conversations with voters, I certainly have.

“But I would say just three things about those conversations. First, every single conversation I’ve had on the doorstep has been improved by the mention of Rishi Sunak and the job that he does as our Prime Minister.

“Second, there is no enthusiasm for Sir Keir Starmer and even less trust in him. And third, that wherever Labour runs something in the country, they run it badly.”

The Conservative Party chairman went on to mock the Labour Leader by holding a pair of “Sir Keir Starmer flip flops”.

He accused Sir Keir of being a “man who will literally say anything that suits him at that time”, adding: “Who is the real Sir Keir Starmer? The friend and supporter of Jeremy Corbyn? The puppet of Tony Blair? Or the mouthpiece of Just Stop Oil?”

He then brandished a pair of black and red flip flops with the Labour Leader’s face printed on them to muted applause.

He said; “Ladies and Gentlemen, can I let you into a secret – if anyone likes the association of Sir Keir with flip flops, I have these: available for just £16.99 here at the Conservative Party shop and also online at Conservatives.com, your own pair of Sir Keir Starmer flip flops and I’d warmly recommend them to you.”

Showing them off to party members, Hands told the Exchange Hall at Manchester Central Convention Complex: “I always thought that the best leaders wake up each morning, and ask themselves, ‘What am I going to do today?’.

“Sir Keir wakes up and asks, ‘What am I going to believe today?’

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