Tories must 'change hard' to win back young voters - Damian Green

Posted On: 
1st July 2017

The Conservatives cannot “keep calm and carry on” after losing seats in the general election, Damian Green has said. 

Damian Green is Cabinet Office Minister and First Secretary of State
PA Images

The First Secretary of State, who was promoted after the setback at the ballot box, will tell a conference that the party needs to “think hard, work hard, and change hard” to win over the public.

Mr Green will identify the “unconservative” trend of falling house ownership among young people and devolution as two issues for the Tories to focus on.

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“We need to show how Conservative values and policies can work for those parts of the country, and parts of the population, who have turned away from us,” he will say at the Bright Blue conference.

“It is now clear that the root of our failure to win a majority last month lies in those aged 18 to 35, among whom Labour led the Conservatives by over 30 percentage points.”

Mr Green, who had been the Work and Pensions Secretary before the election, became First Secretary of State after the Tories lost their majority.

The Tories lost seats in major metropolitan areas, especially London, and Mr Green will say the Tories need to create a new “City Conservatism” to win over voters.

“We have already achieved a huge amount, with the creation of genuine local power centres through the Mayors, and the growing number of City Deals which put large sums of money under the control of local institutions to regenerate and develop the cities,” he will say.

“We clearly are getting no electoral credit for this, partly because we have not developed a clear message about why we are doing this. The message is a combination of two essential Conservative principles. First, that decisions should be taken as locally as is practical. Secondly, that it is only through individual flair and ideas and freedoms that the dynamism of a great city comes to pass.”