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THE Tories risk being seen as “a narrow party of nostalgia, hard Brexit, public-sector austerity and lazy privilege,” the head of Theresa May’s policy forum has warned her.
She must “move fast” to show that the party has heeded the harsh lessons of June’s snap general election, in which it lost its Commons majority, Tory MP George Freeman wrote in a letter that was revealed yesterday.
In the letter sent to the Prime Minister in September, obtained by The House magazine, the Mid-Norfolk MP complained that the party’s narrow focus would “risk alienating ourselves from an entire new generation of voters.”
Mr Freeman, who was life sciences minister under David Cameron, lost his government post when Ms May came to power.
He was appointed to head the Conservative Policy Forum, a body designed to allow members an input into decision-making.
Asked whether Ms May shared his concern, a Downing Street spokesman said: “No.”
Meanwhile, former attorney general Dominic Grieve said the PM was facing a rebellion by up to 27 of her MPs over her “completely idiotic” plan to enshrine the Brexit date in law.
Downing Street said she would not back down over her demand for March 29 2019 to be fixed in the European Union (Withdrawal) Bill.
A rebellion by 27 Tories would almost certainly lead to defeat for the government even if pro-Brexit Labour MPs vote for the date’s inclusion in the legislation.
At a summit of EU leaders in Gothenburg, Sweden, yesterday, Ms May was urged to spell out how much Britain would pay in a so-called divorce settlement to secure progress on trade talks by the next summit, due on December 14-15.
She repeated her pledge that Britain would “honour our commitments” to the EU.
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