David Cameron warns Theresa May she needs 'a more inspiring vision'

Posted On: 
17th July 2017

David Cameron has told Theresa May she needs to offer a “more inspiring vision” in order to win back voters from the Labour party.

David Cameron speaking in Kiev earlier this year
Credit: 
PA Images

The former prime minister said it had been “depressing” to see his party lose seats in London and other metropolitan areas in the recent general election.

In his first newspaper interview since polling day, he warned his successor at No 10 that she had to continue modernising the party or risk it becoming out of touch with the country.

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“It is very important that the Conservative party doesn’t slip backwards,” he told the Evening Standard.

“The Conservative party only succeeds if it is a party of the future.

“Modernisation isn’t an event. It is a process. A political party should be asking itself all the time, ‘Am I properly in touch with and reflecting the society and the country?’.”

He added: “I want us to go on being the open, liberal, tolerant party that we became post-2005 because I think that was part of our success.”

“We on the centre-right side of the argument have to have just as inspiring a vision – a more inspiring vision – of how you build not just a strong economy but a strong society and a better life.”

When asked about Jeremy Corbyn's popularity, Mr Cameron said Britons had “forgotten” how “dangerous” a programme with nationalisation, “rampantly” high taxes and state control could be.

“You don’t win the argument in favour of free enterprise, free markets, choice and liberal democracy and then pack up and go home.

“You have to win the argument in every generation.”

The Standard is now edited by George Osborne, who served as Chancellor under Mr Cameron and has become an outspoken critic of the Tory government under Mrs May.

Today’s edition of the paper carries a blistering editorial criticising the current direction of the party.

“Not enough Conservatives are listening.  They are in the grip of a minority who seek hard Brexit at any cost,” it said.

“This vision satisfies the obsessions of those who have always held to a narrow concept of parliamentary sovereignty and a long-standing cultural dislike of immigration, which they dress up as a concern about pressure on public services.”