Barwell tells the Tory Party: It’s time to make up your mind

Britain stands on the brink of a national breakdown, after Liz Truss resigned as Prime Minister this lunchtime, following a turbulent 44 days in office during which her Mini-Budget crashed the markets, she sacked both her Chancellor and Home Secretary and she lost the confidence of most Tory MPs.
GAVIN BARWELL, right, the former Conservative MP for Croydon Central, this morning posted a Twitter thread with his advice for his erstwhile colleagues

Everyone I’ve spoken to from all wings of the party agrees the Truss government is finished, but there is no consensus on who should take over. The rows over Brexit and the removal of Boris have left deep scars.

If we are agreed that the Truss government has been a disaster, can we also agree that it should not be someone who supported Liz’s campaign and served in her Cabinet when it agreed the “Mini-Budget”?

There are some good people in the current Cabinet who should play important roles in what comes next – Penny Mordaunt and Ben Wallace being obvious examples – but they are implicated in what has just gone so wrong.

We need someone who was on the right side of the argument.

Prime Minister material: Michael Gove is on ‘Lord’ Barwell’s shortlist of three

Now we come to the hardest question. Can we also agree that it shouldn’t be Boris Johnson? There is no doubt that we would do better under Boris Johnson than if we stick with Liz Truss, but the Boris of today is not the Boris of 2019. We would still lose badly.

By the end of his time in No 10, 70per cent of voters wanted him gone. The Privileges Committee hearings are about to start with lots of witnesses. If you reinstate him, it would just further toxify the image of the Conservative Party.

Can we finally agree that recent events underline that being Prime Minister, particularly in current circumstances, is an incredibly tough job, and that we should therefore value experience, proven judgement and above all seriousness above who we ideologically agree with?

Plain message: ‘Lord’ Barwell had a stern warning for his party colleagues

If we can agree on these points then I think that leaves us with three candidates: Rishi Sunak, Jeremy Hunt and Michael Gove. I realise some in the party aren’t very keen on any of these options, but I believe the reasoning that lies behind this shortlist is sound.

The question is whether it is possible by giving senior roles to people like Penny Mordaunt, Ben Wallace and Kemi Badenoch to put together a team that all of you can support, even if the team captain isn’t everyone’s first choice.

If you can’t do that, if personal ambition and the wounds of recent disagreements mean you are collectively incapable of providing the government this country needs at a time of crisis, then there should be a general election.

Time to make your minds up.

Read more: Tories pose real threat to Selsdon Vale with ‘attack on nature’
Read more: Croydon’s top Tory Barwell admits: I am politically homeless
Read more: ‘The Prime Minister admits he lied’ says Tory Lord Barwell

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9 Responses to Barwell tells the Tory Party: It’s time to make up your mind

  1. “I think that leaves us with three candidates: Rishi Sunak, Jeremy Hunt and Michael Gove. I realise some in the party aren’t very keen on any of these options, but I believe the reasoning that lies behind this shortlist is sound.”

    Lord Barwell fails to acknowledge that the last shortlist was produced by Conservative MPs, who (having already rejcted Hunt) offered the membership Truss and Sunak.

    Thus this mess is of Conservative MPs’ making, not the membership they blame for it, and much of it smacks of tantrum politics by the losing Sunak side.

    Offering up the loser(s) again is an insult to his party’s membership and democracy as a whole – it is the old ‘keep voting until you give the right answer’ schtick.

    And the last thing this country needs now is another/ more posh boy(s) in charge for crying out loud.

    His piece highlights the evident disconnect between the Westminster group and the membership which, had it been given a full and free choice would have, as any fule kno, picked Kemi Badenoch for good or for ill.

    But having no skin in this game – other than that of the ordinary member of the public just boggling at these shenanigans – I say (FFS): let’s have a GE now, let the Conservatives fight their civil war and reinvent themselves in private, and give Starmer & Co their chance at making their own omnishambles of it.

    It just couldn’t be worse, could it?

    • Gerry Weston-White says:

      The Conservative Party is in a dreadful position and if it has any honestly should call a general election. Enough is enough I have now lost patience…..

      • James Seabrook says:

        Whilst I agree that the Conservatives should call a general election, there’s no guarantee that the Conservatives would be voted out, meaning the same old mess continuing, only this time with a mandate. I believe there needs to be a better opposition candidate with enough charisma to trounce the Tories, but I don’t believe that person currently exists. Therefore I’m stuck because having a general election could be as dangerous as not having one.

  2. Oh did anyone see the playground behaviour displayed by both sides which caused the chief whip to have to shout them down? These politicians make this country a laughing stock the world over. We don’t need more of the same, what’s needed is the headmistress from the film Matilda, along with her dreaded ‘Chokey’. Well that or a revolution.

  3. Martin Rosen says:

    I prefer to ask my dog rather than listen to Barwell’s self-deprecating thoughts on this matter. His sole interest expressed in this ‘article’ is his obsession with the continuance of the Conservative Party’s self-appointment as the rulers of Britain – he is muddle-headed and confused.

    The Conservatives have had too long in power. Our version of ‘democracy’ carries with it the necessity for power to change hands at least every 8-10 years, because the alternative is what we have had – corruption.

    The only problem is that we need a thoughtful and representative Opposition, and sadly the Labour Party did not present us with that in 2019. What we got was a choice between the unelectable Corbyn and the corrupt Johnson. Shame on them!

    We now have a good man as putative ;leader of the country in Starmer, but sadly he is backed by the shadowy Momentum movement represented by Rayner. Does that make the weak Starmer electable? I think not.

    So we DARE not have a General Election right now. We just have to hope that Starmer gains in self-confidence sufficiently to face down the threat of Momentum within his party when he is elected in a little over a year … but if not, then we will have to elect Labour for a single term, put up with policies which are at least better than Trussism for four years, and then kick out a failed Labour Party and set the country on an unknown path towards coalition.

    • Helen Benjamins says:

      Yes I agree. The revolution looms closer

    • Chris Flynn says:

      What does “electable” mean? Saying people shouldn’t vote for them because people won’t vote for them is a bit of a self-fulfilling prophecy and tautology. If Labour were on course to win, could you see yourself voting for them?

  4. Anthony Miller says:

    I’ve got a lot of time for Lord Barwell. He always has interesting things to say …even though I would disagree with a lot of his conclusions and one can sometimes detect the squishing of sour grapes in the background. However, it is a trifle depressing how almost everyone who’s voted out the Commons these days simply moves down the corridor to the House of Lords. It makes you wonder if there’s any point in voting at all and it’s just a game of musical chairs…

    I suppose all the ex PMs will go to clog up the Lord’s too eventually… unless they do a Ted Heath and refuse to go…. I used to feel a bit sorry for Maggie having Ted perpetually on the back benches competing with her to the level of also donning electric blue suits… However… Whoever is next is going to have a proper Greek Chorus of ex Prime Minister backseat drivers… Lucky them!

  5. Rebecca Sheaton says:

    I find Barwell easier to understand and more palatable on my iPad if I turn the image upside, mute the volume and then turn it off. What a little pungent gush of air he is. A fucking political space waster.

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