Tories have ‘no divine right to exist’ as Rishi Sunak told bluntly: ‘It’s over!’ | Politics | News

February 16, 2024
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The Conservative Party has “no divine right to exist forever” and soon may cease to exist following two thumping defeats in last night’s by-elections, according to a leading conservative commentator.

Tim Montgomerie, founder of Conservative Home, told Jeremy Vine on 5 that “it’s over” for Rishi Sunak and the Tories in government.

This comes after Labour stormed to victory in Wellingborough, where the Conservatives lost a record 37.8% of their vote share and Kingswood.

Mr Montgomerie, who is also the founder of the Centre for Social Justice alongside Tory grandee Sir Iain Duncan Smith, told Mr Vine that the Conservatives may continue to lose what little support they have left the longer the PM waits to call an election.

The 53-year-old told the tv-host-cum-cycling-zealot: “I’m a through and through conservative but I’ve had enough of the Conservative Party.”

He added: “Everything we said we would do we basically haven’t and we’ve done those things which we shouldn’t do. It is over for the Conservative Party.”

In a chilling warning for Tory MPs and members, the conservative pundit suggested that the party’s demise may not be confined to a general election drubbing, but could be far more existential.

“Parties have no divine right to exist forever and there’s a volatility in the electorate these days which means the verdict could be savage.”

Doubling down, Mr Montgomerie said he wished yesterday’s by-elections were a national poll, as the longer the Prime Minister waits to call an election the deeper the mire the Tories could find themselves in.

He said: “I sense a growing impatience from voters. They really have had enough and you stretch the electoral elastic too much and I think it will be worse if Rishi Sunak does wait until November.”

Speaking to broadcasters on a visit to a police station in Harlow, Essex, the PM said: “Midterm elections are always difficult for incumbent governments, and the circumstances of these elections were of course particularly challenging.

“Now, I think if you look at the results, very low turnout, and it shows that we’ve got work to do to show people that we are delivering on their priorities and that’s what I’m absolutely determined to do, but also shows that there isn’t a huge amount of enthusiasm for the alternative in Keir Starmer and the Labour Party, and that’s because they don’t have a plan.

“And if you don’t have a plan, you can’t deliver real change. And when the general election comes, that’s the message I’ll be making to the country. Stick with our plan, because it is starting to deliver the change that the country wants and needs.”



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