25.11.2022
Rise of the Reform Party could be the ‘death of the Tories’, exclusive poll reveals

Senior Tory MPs have told Express.co.uk they are “frustrated” with Rishi Sunak and the Tory leadership for ignoring their repeated warnings over the resurgence of Nigel Farage and Richard Tice’s Reform Party (previously the Brexit Party). It comes as the Techne UK tracker poll for this website has revealed the Conservatives have now dropped to 23 points behind Labour but is losing votes to the Reform Party who are on at least 4.5 percent.

A large number of Tory backbenchers believe the flood of former Conservative members and voters now heading towards the Reform Party will guarantee defeat at the next election.

The tracker poll put Labour on 50 percent, the Conservatives down one on 27 percent, Lib Dems on 9 percent, Greens and SNP both on 4 percent.

But the new party in the calculation was Reform on about 4.5 percent – taking it up most of the “other” on 6 percent of the 1,624 people surveyed on November 23 and 24.

Previously Techne has not listed support for Reform, which was on 2 percent or lower, but the rapid growth in support means that from next week it will feature formally in the tracker poll.

Worryingly for the Tories “other” goes up to 12 percent of Leave voters from 2016 and, according to Techne this could mean around 10 percent for Reform.

Added to that traditional Tory rural areas, support for Reform is significantly higher eating into the Conservative vote.

According to Electoral Calculus such a result would give the Conservatives just 95 seats and Labour a majority of 278.

One senior Conservative backbencher told Express.co.uk: “They [the party leadership] are just not listening. Reform could absolutely kill us at the polls.

“They are getting these sorts of figures without Nigel Farage. If Nigel decides to properly re-enter the political arena then we will be talking about 15 percent or more potentially.”

The veteran MP speculated that fury over Jeremy Hunt’s tax-raising Budget last week “could be the final nail in the coffin”.

Several more seasoned MPs have also noted how similar things feel to the mid-1990s when support for the Tories began to evaporate in John Major’s government.

The key moment may have been Norman Lamont’s tax raising budget in 1993 which is seen by some as more damaging than Black Wednesday when the pound crashed and is drawing comparisons to Jeremy Hunt’s tax raising Autumn Statement last week.

Tory MPs have already dubbed it “the shirkers’ budget” because it hits people who work with more taxes while increasing support for those who stay at home.

In 1997 Major’s Tories lost a record defeat to Labour but some now believe it could be worse next time.

One veteran MP noted: “In 1997 we only had the Referendum Party to contend with, nothing like the Reform Party. This could actually be much worse.”

Mr Farage, who is life President of the Reform Party after steping down as leader in 2021, confirmed that it would not be standing candidates against any Conservative MPs in the next election as the Brexit Party did in 2019.

Reform leader Richard Tice told Express.co.uk he believes the current government could be “the last ever majority Conservative government.”

He added: “If I play a role in achieving that and securing that I will be absolutely delighted.”

Mr Tice focussed on last week’s Autumn Statement which saw Jeremy Hunt increase taxes across the board.

“It’s an unprincipled Con-socialist government,” Mr Tice said.

“From the moment Hunt took his seat again on Thursday we have picked up more than 1,000 members [for Reform], mostly former Conservative members or activists or voters who are just incredibly frustrated with what is going on.”

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Mr Tice also believes if polling companies start asking directly about his party it will show their support is even bigger.

He added: “I am pleased that polling companies are beginning to ask about whether people support us.

“When people are prompted it will show we are on six or seven percent or even more.”

Meanwhile, another driver of support for Reform was the apparent attempt to push for a Swiss-style Brexit which would mean the UK is forced to accept freedom of movement of people and EU rules.

Again, MPs are blaming Mr Hunt for the misstep.

In his message to Reform Party members Mr Farage warned it means the fight is back on to save Brexit.

He said: “So, are we close to another ‘Chequers deal’ surrender, as we saw under Theresa May in 2018? The fierce denials from government ministers and Rishi Sunak in his address to the CBI this week may reassure some, but I’m far from convinced.

“The appointment of Jeremy Hunt as Chancellor of the Exchequer on 14 October and the installation of Sunak as Prime Minister 10 days later represent nothing less than a coup. Any belief in a growth-driven strategy, or of encouraging the enterprise of Britain’s millions of small businesses, has died. There can be no more pretence.

“This government is a high tax, big state, social democrat betrayal of all that the Conservatives have ever stood for. A softening of our relationship with the bully boys of Brussels would be entirely in keeping with its current identity.”

But the real fear among Tory MPs is the immigration crisis both legal and illegal.

Conservative MPs, particularly from Red Wall seats won off Labour in 2019, fear a large number of supporters will switch to Reform allowing Labour back in with a split vote.

The legal migration figures showed record numbers of 504,000 arriving in a 12-month period to June 2022.

This on top of the approaching 50,000 of illegal migrants arriving on small boats this year across the English Channel has sparked a massive crisis.

One Red Wall MP said: “It will lose me my seat. This comes up time and again on the doorsteps.”

A veteran MP added: “When people see hotels full of migrants and we are struggling with housing and the cost of living it is playing really badly and right into Farage’s hands.”

Dudley North MP Marco Longhi described the migration figures as “a betrayal”.

He said: “These numbers are horrific and what is astounding is that some in government actually say more is needed for growth.

“There are over 1.2 million people who are unemployed, why shouldn’t they be trained up with the skills needed instead of importing cheap labour? Productivity through skills and investment – not cheap labour.

“The more we import the more pressure on housing. Then their families come over and even more pressure is put on housing and public services.

“It’s economically short-sighted and it’s morally wrong. How do I explain this all to the women and children at my surgeries who are sofa-surfing? I can’t, I won’t, I’ll call it for what it is: it’s a betrayal.”

Underlining the point, Reform today launched a video on social media targeted at 12 years of promises by successive Tory leaders to end illegal migration and culminating with the Home Secretary Suella Braverman admitting the system is broken.

Techne UK chief executive Michela Morizzo identified the economy and migrant crisis as key factors in the Tories losing ground for a second week in a row.

After gaining 11 points on Labour in the first two weeks from a 30 percent deficit under Liz Truss to just 19 percent, the two polls since the Autumn Statement last week have shown the Tories lose ground first to 22 points behind in the immediate aftermath and then to 23 points this week.

In last week’s poll immediately after the Autumn Statement 51 percent said they disapproved of the measures.

Ms Morizzo said: “It is clear that the challenges buffeting the new Prime Minister Rishi Sunak are not going to go away anytime soon.

“The cost-of-living crisis, rampant inflation, Trade Union disputes and recently reported immigration figures of over 500,000 people in the last year, are just some of the complex issues Government are struggling with on a day by day basis.

“Against this difficult backdrop, it is perhaps not surprising the Conservatives continue to slip further – down 1 point to 27% national vote share. The Labour Party stays steady at a dominant 50 percent of national vote share.

“Given the consistent picture of main party national shares it is no doubt the growth in support for the Lib Dems and Reform U.K. which will set the short-term future political agenda, and we will monitor this closely in the weeks ahead.”

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27.11.2022
Sturgeon’s Indyref dream costing taxpayers £1.5m a year despite ‘savage cuts’ on services
Now a Freedom of Information request has revealed that over £1.5million of taxpayer money will be put towards Sturgeon’s fight…
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27.11.2022
Rishi Sunak’s cabinet reshuffle was ‘brutal’ and ‘frustrating’, says ex-cabinet minister
The MP for North West Hampshire spoke with GB News presenter Gloria De Piero who will be airing the full…
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  • 1 час, 36 минут назад 27.11.2022Politics
    Sturgeon’s Indyref dream costing taxpayers £1.5m a year despite ‘savage cuts’ on services

    Now a Freedom of Information request has revealed that over £1.5million of taxpayer money will be put towards Sturgeon’s fight for independence. In the Scottish referendum in 2014, just over 55 percent of voters decided to remain part of the UK.

    Despite Sturgeon’s promise ahead of the 2014 referendum that it was a “once in a generation” vote, she has now said that she and her government will find another way “for Scottish people to express their will”.

    The First Minister had proposed holding a second independence referendum on October 19 next year.

    The Supreme Court’s ruling has not halted Sturgeon’s efforts as she said in Edinburgh: “We must, and we will find another democratic, lawful, and constitutional means by which the Scottish people can express their will.

    “In my view, that can only be an election. As long as there is breath in my body, I refuse to give up on the basic principle of democracy.”

    Now figures have shown that over £1.5million of public money will be spent annually on civil servants dedicated to the drive for independence.

    The Scottish Conservatives found the revealing data through an FOI request shows that there are 25 officials dedicated to working for the campaign.

    The Tories combined the maximum annual salary of civil servants in each pay bracket which showed that Sturgeon’s Government will spend £1,532,664 on the staff.

    According to the figures, one senior civil servant is in the highest pay bracket where the maximum annual salary is £47,485.

    One official is paid £47,485 per annum while five others earn under £47,000 on the two lowest pay ranges.

    Nine other staff members are in the C1 bracket which pays up to £62,167, eight others are paid 75,341 and another earns £77,340 per year.

    Sturgeon was slammed by the Conservatives for using taxpayers’ money towards her “pet project”.

    Scottish Conservative constitution spokesman Donald Cameron said that the Scottish Government needs to utilise its staff to focus on issues such as the NHS or the cost of living crisis.

    Mr Cameron said: “Most Scots will be appalled that Nicola Sturgeon is squandering huge sums of public money and civil service resources on her pet project at the same time as imposing savage cuts on key public services.

    “It is further proof – if any were needed – that the SNP leader always puts her party’s interests before those of the country.”

    The Scottish Conservative spokesman also brought up the Supreme Court ruling which he believes renders the Scottish Government’s efforts a waste of time, money, and resources.

    “The Scottish Government’s independence unit must be disbanded now and the civil servants in question work on the issues that matter to people in Scotland, like the global cost of living crisis and the NHS, which is on its knees under this SNP-Green coalition”, he said.

    On the topic of Sturgeon’s statement that the SNP will see the upcoming general election in 2025 as a de-facto independence referendum, Mr Cameron slammed the party as “arrogant”.

    He said: “Setting aside the arrogance of that strategy – it’s voters who decide the issues on which they vote – it is clearly a party-political tactic, not something for the apparatus of Government.

    “Therefore, it would be utterly scandalous if independent, publicly funded civil servants continued to be used for what is now purely SNP campaigning.”

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  • 3 часа, 36 минут назад 27.11.2022Politics
    Rishi Sunak’s cabinet reshuffle was ‘brutal’ and ‘frustrating’, says ex-cabinet minister

    The MP for North West Hampshire spoke with GB News presenter Gloria De Piero who will be airing the full interview at 6pm Sunday on her segment ‘Gloria Meets’. Mr Malthouse described being asked to step down from his position by Prime Minister Rishi Sunak as “brutal”.

    The former minister said: “I mean, look, he [Rishi Sunak] was very polite about it, and I was offered another position, but it wasn’t something that I wanted to do.

    “And I don’t think it’s any secret that over the previous year there had been a kind of divergence of view, should we say, about economic policy.

    “In this game, you’ve always got to have your bag packed. And, you know, it is brutal. But look – I did 49 days, it was fascinating.”

    He noted in the interview how he struggled with Liz Truss’s infamous budget after Malthouse dedicated his political career to implementing low tax.

    The former secretary further went on to explain how he felt “frustrated” about being let go and added: “We got the department in a position where we were just about to set off; hopefully the team that succeeded will do exactly that.

    “I was obviously disappointed. I was offered a job that would have been interpreted as a demotion. But you’ve always got to have your bag packed, and you’ve always got to have a Plan B.”

    On how he found out he was about to lose the senior Government position, Mr Malthouse explained: “You get a phone call, you get asked to see the Prime Minister at a particular time.

    “Then you sort of know something’s up, because I think if it’s negative, you get asked to see him in the house, and if it’s positive, you get the walk up Downing St.

    “And so, you get a hint pretty early on. But to be honest with you, I kind of guessed during the leadership that that was the way things were going to go.

    You know, the upside is that those views that I was giving in private can now be given in public.”

    Mr Malthouse also said that his wife and children were “upset” by his sacking.

    He said: “They’d rather I’d have stayed where I was. But I’ve kind of conditioned everybody in the family to the fact that politics is a kind of random game; you just don’t know what is going to happen to you from one day to the next.

    “Certainly we’ve been through a very turbulent few years! I mean, I was elected in 2015. We’ve had three general elections, several leaders, two monarchs, a pandemic, a war.

    I mean, anything could happen, right? I mean the kids are quite happy that they’re seeing more of me, which is great.”

    The MP also addressed the controversial guidance recently announced by the expenses watchdog IPSA which will allow MPs to claim food and decorations for Christmas parties during the current cost of living crisis.

    Mr Malthouse said: “It’s totally bonkers, I don’t understand where this has come from.

    “I don’t know a single MP who’s asked for this. I think any MP who would claim some kind of party on IPSA expenses is out of their mind.”

    IPSA has since said that since issuing the guidance, many MPs have contacted the organisation to say that “they have never made such claims in the past and have no intention of doing so in the future”.

    The watchdog chief Ian Todd has since apologised and said: “We got the messaging wrong by allowing the impression to form that this is what MPs were wanting to do, rather than our interpretation of the discretion available under the existing rules.”

    He added: “In issuing it, we also failed to recognise the public mood at a time of severe economic and financial pressures. I am sorry for that.”

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  • 7 часов, 35 минут назад 27.11.2022Politics
    Labour offer ‘short’ manifesto after fearing public won’t believe spending pledges

    Party insiders are determined to avoid a repeat of the last election when Labour set out a long list of “unrealistic” pledges. A senior source said: “It will be a short manifesto. It won’t be War and Peace. We will be realistic and stick to what we can deliver, given that there won’t be much money to spend.

    “We won’t repeat the mistakes of the last two elections when we offered long shopping lists of policies which voters just didn’t believe.”

    Shadow Cabinet Ministers are making plans for government but insist they are not taking the results of the next election for granted and point out there could be two years to go until polling day.

    The latest survey by Redfield and Wilton showed 49 percent of voters would back Labour if an election was held tomorrow with just 28 planning to vote Conservative.

    Labour’s 2019 general election manifesto includes promises to cut household bills by more than £6,700 a year without increasing taxes for 95 percent of households at the same time as spending up £250 billion on “enterprise, infrastructure and innovation”.

    Labour said plans to nationalise energy and water companies would cut costs for voters, while taking control of rail services would mean cheaper train tickets.

    The party also promised free broadband for every home.

    But the party, under Jeremy Corbyn’s leadership, suffered its worst election defeat since 1935 and lost 60 seats while Conservatives, led by Boris Johnson, returned to power with a landslide 80-seat majority.

    Some Labour activists still hail the manifesto as a triumph, and blame the result on Labour’s decision to support a second referendum on Brexit.

    The dire state of the public finances is likely to make big spending commitments difficult for any government in the foreseeable future.

    Watchdog the Office for Budget Responsibility warns the UK is currently in a recession set to last just over a year, although economic growth is expected to resume in 2024.

    Inflation, currently 11.1 percent, is expected to fall next year but remain high at 7.4 percent over the course of 2023.

    However, it is then expected to fall significantly and prices may actually go down in 2024, with inflation just below zero.

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  • 7 часов, 35 минут назад 27.11.2022Politics
    Top Tory backs assisted dying: ‘I’d want to kill myself if I suffered a terminal illness’

    Kit Malthouse, who served as Education Secretary under former Prime Minister Liz Truss, said he wants the law changed after watching relatives suffer. In an interview with GB News to be broadcast tonight, he said: “There was a member of my extended family, who died many years ago of multiple sclerosis, in horrible circumstances.

    More closely, there was a death in my wife’s family from breast cancer.

    “Both of which reinforced in me the idea that, you know, if I were to face – if anyone were to face – those horrible circumstances, I’d at least like the choice.”

    A change in the law would probably involve allowing doctors to prescribe life-ending drugs for terminally ill people, which the patient would then take themselves.

    Supporters of assisted dying also argue that there would be legal safeguards in place, to ensure the patient was mentally competent to make their own decisions.

    Mr Malthouse said making assisted dying legal would provide peace of mind for people with terminal diseases even if they chose not to take up the option, because it would reduce the fear of suffering in the final stages of their life.

    He said: “The vast majority of people who have a right to assisted dying don’t actually use it.”

    Mr Malthouse also spoke about his “brutal” sacking by Prime Minister Rishi Sunak after just 49 days in the education role, and said he refused to take an alternative government job partly because of his opposition to Mr Sunak’s tax-raising plans.

    He said: “It is a brutal game. I mean, look, he was very polite about it, and I was offered another position, but it wasn’t something that I wanted to do.

    “And I don’t think it’s any secret that over the previous year there had been a kind of divergence of view, should we say, about economic policy.”

    He said Chancellor Jeremy Hunt’s recent Autumn statement was a “difficult budget for somebody like me, who spent their entire political existence dedicated to low tax.”

    The MP said: “My total philosophy was about leaving as much money as possible in the pockets of the people that we served, so they can make their own choices.”

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  • 7 часов, 35 минут назад 27.11.2022Politics
    Nicola Sturgeon offered three-step plan to force IndyRef2 through Westminster

    Alba party leader and lifetime pro-independence campaigner Alex Salmond has called on Nicola Sturgeon to seek cross-party support to push a second independence referendum through Westminster. The First Minister was dealt a devastating blow from the Supreme Court judges who ruled a second vote could not be held without the Prime Minister’s consent. However, Mr Salmond believes there is still a way forward with a three-step plan.

    Alex Salmond told SVT News: “The first thing that should be done is not wait until next year to have a discussion about it.

    “It’s to get the majority of MSPs, the majority of MPs from Scotland who believe in Scotland’s right of self-determination to make a declaration to that effect.

    “Summon an Independence Convention to challenge the idea that Scotland doesn’t have the right to decide.

    “And that would resonate, flung in the face of the London Government.”

    The former Scottish First Minister said: “That would resonate very strongly internationally at the present moment and be a rallying call for the people of Scotland.

    “Secondly, the sort of popular agitation we saw in response to the Supreme Court should be embraced and not be a one-off when Scotland gets a kick in the teeth.

    “It should be something that’s part of a vibrant national movement.

    “Thirdly, the MSP, where there’s a majority for independence, mustn’t look like bystanders in this particular debate.

    “They should be making initiatives, making declarations, as I said, perhaps even passing a bill which would withstand legal challenges.

    “And then, you get to the position of what you do in terms of a democratic test.”

    Alex Salmond argues that Nicola Sturgeon could use cross-party and popular support to pressure Westminster into greenlighting a second vote on Scottish independence.

    The SNP leader has fought for almost a decade to snatch a section 30 order, which would allow Holyrood to pass a referendum bill and hold a referendum in Scotland.

    But successive Conservative Prime Ministers have all rejected Ms Sturgeon’s request, saying the UK’s nations should strick together amid economic turmoil and now the Ukraine war.

    Nicola Sturgeon ended up taking the battle for independence to the Supreme Court where she hoped she could override Westminster and hold an advisory vote. However, the Supreme Court ruled against her reference on the ground a pro-independence vote would have pratical and legal effects on the union, making a referendum a reserved matter of the union.

    After admitting the ruling was a bitter pill to swallow, the First Minister announced she will set up a national executive committee to convene a special party conference in the new year to discuss and agree the details of a proposed de facto referendum.

    If the SNP decides to go down that route, Nicola Sturgeon could use a 50+ percent pro-independence majority in Scotland to put pressure on the Prime Minister and demand a section 30 order. However, the closest the SNP has got to 50 percent was in 2019 when the nationalists won 36.9 percent of the votes.

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  • 7 часов, 35 минут назад 27.11.2022Politics
    Tory MP’s wife who branded Liz Truss ‘an imbecile’ says ‘I wasn’t wrong’

    In an exclusive interview with GB News, she said: “Yeah, but I wasn’t wrong though, was I? You know what, I don’t want to be smug because I wouldn’t have wished that episode on anyone – not on Liz, not on the Members. I mean, it was humiliating for everyone. So, I don’t want to be smug and ‘I told you so’ about it.

    “But for me, it really spoke to a wider issue, because it wasn’t the fact that Johnny lost his job – that’s politics, that happens like the wind.

    “That’s fine. No, it was the fact that it spoke to the bigger issue, that she wasn’t going to listen to certain people on their expertise.

    “She wasn’t going to listen to Johnny on veterans, or Rishi on the economy, or any of the other good parliamentarians.”

    Explaining how she got the green-light from her husband before posting the message she continued: “I penned this tweet and said to him: ‘What do you think?’, and he just said: ‘You know what? That’s how you feel, that’s how I feel, and that’s how a lot of people I think today are going to feel’.”

    Mr Mercer, an army veteran who served three tours of Afghanistan, has since been re-appointed to the role of Veterans Minister in the Ministry of Defence by Prime Minister Rishi Sunak.

    Being married to an MP had made her a target for abuse, Mrs Mercer revealed. In the interview to be shown tonight she said: “One day, I opened a parcel in my kitchen, and pulled out a nappy full of human faeces.

    “And I thought, ‘Alright, OK’. It was addressed to me, and it was addressed to my home address. I wasn’t in the constituency office – I was at home. It was a real shock.”

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Politics Rise of the Reform Party could be the 'death of the Tories', exclusive poll reveals