WATCH Tory ex-chair Grant Shapps savages Theresa May's 'insane' election campaign
A former Conservative chairman today laid into the humiliating election campaign that cost Theresa May her majority.
Grant Shapps said it was “absolute insanity” to offer a free vote on repealing fox hunting and said the controversial ‘dementia tax’ plan "literally went down like a bag of sick" on the doorstep.
He demanded the Prime Minister show more “contrition” at a crunch meeting with backbenchers tonight than she did in her speech on Downing Street following the painful election result.
Mrs May lost 12 seats at the snap election on Thursday – after calling the vote in a bid to exploit her poll lead over Labour and boost her majority.
She was ridiculed for being robotic and failing to connect with the public, while manifesto promises on social care and fox hunting saw the party shed mass support.
Mr Shapps, who served as Tory co-chairman under David Cameron, today laid into the policy proposals he thought harmed the party at the ballot box.
“[It was] absolute insanity to start talking about passing and changing fox hunting laws,” he told the BBC’s Daily Politics today.
“What on earth was that about? It was a moment when I thought there had just been a mistake made – perhaps an off-the-cuff comment.”
He said the plan to make people pay for their social care until they were down to their last £100,000 in assets “literally went down like a bucket of sick on the doorstep”.
The Welwyn Hatfield MP said it had been “crazy, insane” to allow expectations for the assumed Tory victory to get “completely out of control” – with initial suggestions of a three figure landslide.
And he added: “In the end of course a good leader has to take responsibility for what happens…
“I think what she will do later is perhaps just show the contrition of the fact that some people have lost their parliamentary jobs for a general election which wasn’t strictly required.”
Mr Shapps said a fresh Tory leadership election was not “urgent” – echoing Cabinet member Michael Gove’s caution in saying Mrs May was "doing a fantastic job at the moment".
'UNCOMFORTABLE' WITH DUP VIEWS
Elsewhere, he hit out at the Democratic Unionist Party, with whom Mrs May is forging a confidence and supply deal to prop up a minority Tory administration.
“I don’t want to be in government with them and I don’t want to be in coalition with them,” he said of the party which is anti-abortion and anti-LGBT rights.
“I’m very uncomfortable with many of their social views as well and there are things that I could quite literally never ever support.”
But he insisted if the DUP wanted to support the Tory plans in parliament as part of an informal arrangement that would be fine.