Conservative party is a “failing organisation” with an “obsession with a few narrow soundbites”, warns Tory MP
New report from 1922 Committee warns of “widespread dismay amongst MPs, candidates, donors, activists, members, supporters and voters" about how Tories conducted the election campaign
Westminster - credit: PA
The Conservative party is a “failing organisation” with an “obsession with a few narrow soundbites”, according to a damning new report from the party’s own 1922 committee.
Warning the there is “widespread dismay amongst MPs, candidates, donors, activists, members, supporters and voters about how the Conservative Party conducted the 2017 General Election Campaign”, Tory MP Bernard Jenkin blasted the way the party hierarchy built its manifesto without consultation and failed to engage with voters under 45.
Jenkin also said the campaign was characterised by “a lack of understanding or capacity to strike the right tone, to adopt the best style and to use the influence of social media”, while the party failed to provide a convincing narrative about Jeremy Corbyn, “beyond demonization and vilification”.
- Labour ready to negotiate a Brexit “that works for both sides”, says Jeremy Corbyn
- Diane Abbott condemns UK Government refusal to publish extremism funding report
The report highlights an “overbearing attitude” from CCHQ towards candidates, while criticising the way the party was slow to rebut and response to events.
The report says: “In a failing organisation, which is beset by an atmosphere of crisis, it can be very difficult to talk truthfully about why things have gone wrong. People within the organisation can feel very inhibited and fearful, particularly if there is an atmosphere of blame.
“There tend to be lots of meetings where things going wrong are discussed, and decisions are agreed, but the people then leave those meetings and privately tell their friends why the decisions taken will not work. And the people at the very top of the organisation are the very last to know that things are still going wrong, because people do not tell them, or they cannot listen or hear what is being said. It is likely that anyone who has worked in CCHQ during the past few months will recognise some or all of these characteristics.”
The report calls for a new mission statement to “challenge the misconceptions that we are “the party of the rich” or that we are unconcerned about people who are less fortunate”.
Jenkin, the MP for Harwich & North Essex, was yesterday elected unopposed to chair the Public Administration Select Committee.
The Edinburgh Western MSP was being investigated over his election expenses
The First Minister will speak at a conference on inclusive growth in Glasgow today
The Scottish Government has committed to making Green MSP John Finnie’s member’s bill law
Sketch: Liam Kirkaldy tries to get to grips with events at the SNP conference in Glasgow