A Conservative MP has warned that his party “will move into oblivion” if it continues on a “right wing approach”.
Tobias Ellwood, a former minister and defence select committee chair, has suggested his party will move itself “out of British politics” if it heeds the advice of individuals like former PM Liz Truss, who launched a new right-wing grouping yesterday.
Truss yesterday launched the Popular Conservatism movement, aimed at restoring “democratic accountability” across the UK, with the support of former cabinet minister Sir Jacob Rees-Mogg and former party deputy chair Lee Anderson.
Addressing the event, Truss argued Conservative governments “have not taken on the left-wing extremists”.
She added: “Wokeism seems to be on the curriculum. “There is confusion about basic biological facts, like what is a woman.
“Look at the net zero zealots, if you listen to the [BBC’s] Today programme, I don’t recommend it, you’ll hear demands for more public spending”.
Truss went on to warn that the left were “on the march and actively organising”.
“These people have repurposed themselves, they don’t believe they are socialist or communists anymore. They say they’re environmentalists, they say they’re in favour of helping people across all communities, they are in favour of supporting LGBT people or groups of ethnic minorities.
“So they no longer admit that they are collectivists but that is what their ideology is about.”
Rees-Mogg and Anderson also gave speeches at the event launch with other MPs in attendance including Dame Andrea Jenkyns, Dame Priti Patel, Wendy Morton, Alec Shellbrooke and David Jones.
Reacting to the launch of “PopCon”, Tobias Ellwood told GB News: “This is very confusing to the electorate at a time when they want to see discipline, they want to see unity, they want to see a sense of purpose, and at the moment, they’re not actually sure what Labour stands for. We don’t give them the opportunity because yet another sub-tribe is formed”.
“But there’s another concern here that I have, which is look at the bigger picture. Authoritarianism is on the rise across the world, Britain is looked at as an exemplar of what democracy should be all about what transparency should be all about. Yet, here we have a group, or a series of groups, wanting to introduce populism. We saw what happened in the United States. It can’t happen here”.
He added: “This is about whether or not the Conservative Party is going to exist in the future. If we move to the extreme right, we will actually move ourselves out of British politics. The most successful parliamentary party in the world will move itself into oblivion. If we continue down this right wing approach”.
Opposition parties also took aim at the new movement, with the Liberal Democrats calling it a “carry-on horror”, suggesting the Conservative Party had of become a “pathetic Donald Trump tribute act”.
Labour shadow minister Jonathan Ashworth wrote a two-page letter to Liz Truss, Sir Jacob and Ranil Jayawardena, who dropped out of the event at the eleventh hour, asking a series of pointed questions.
Listing seven of the right-wing Conservative factions that already exist in the crowded field, including the Brexiteer European Research Group, the New Conservatives and Common Sense Group, Ashworth said: “I know you will be keen to carve out a unique space for this latest party within the Tory Party.”
Among his questions he wrote: “Liz: Do you still believe that the £45 billion worth of unfunded tax cuts in the 2022 mini-budget were the right course of action for the British economy?”.
Daisy Cooper, deputy leader of the Lib Dems, claimed the “Conservative MPs have become a pathetic Donald Trump tribute act and said it was “time for a general election to boot them out of office.”
“Lifelong Conservative voters in the Blue Wall will look on at this carry-on with horror,” she said.
“The Conservative Party has given up on governing and is acting like fighting school children. They are a national embarrassment who would rather shout about the National Trust than cut hospital waiting times.”
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