Tories will be 'out of power for a generation' unless they 'reconnect with metropolitan Britain', says George Osborne
The Conservatives will be "out of government for a generation” unless they reconnect with "metropolitan Britain", George Osborne has said.
The former Chancellor also criticised Theresa May’s 2017 election campaign for losing “whole swathes of middle-class southern England that we worked bloody hard to win off Tony Blair”.
But with the Government working majority now down to just three, the Evening Standard editor said another snap poll was likely, and with the Liberal Democrats on the rise their majority “won’t just be wiped out but deep under water”.
“We are trading away the prosperous, successful urban parts of the country if we’re not careful as a Conservative movement," he told an event in the City. “And that is a massive, massive problem.”
Mr Osborne added: “If we cant reconnect with urban metropolitan Britain we will be out of Government for a generation."
Appearing at the Margaret Thatcher Conference, run by the Centre for Policy Studies think tank, Mr Osborne said: “How have we ended up that the only alliance we can make is with the DUP? That is our only option.”
He said with David Cameron the Conservatives were able to form a coalition with the Liberal Democrats which meant his Budgets as Chancellor would pass, saying of the current administration: “They can’t pass anything, there isn’t a single thing of any controversy that will pass.”
Whoever takes over his old job in the Treasury will have “no power to deliver a Budget that has any lasting impact”, adding the UK has “ground to a halt on public service reform”, and on Brexit legislation we are still “in the foothills”.
The former MP for Tatton also described it as an “odd decision” for the Tories to select Chris Davies to run again in the Brecon and Radnorshire byelection despite his conviction for expenses fraud.
He also defended his decision to exit politics soon after he was sacked from the Cabinet, saying: “I didn’t want to hang around, I wanted to go off and do other things.”