EXCL Former Cabinet minister Priti Patel: Theresa May is leading a 'nanny state government'
Priti Patel has accused Theresa May of leading a "nanny state government" more interested in banning things than implementing Conservative policies.
In a furious blast ahead of next week's Tory conference the party's grassroots activists were "demotivated" while voters did not know what they stood for.
Setting out a personal manifesto to restore Conservative fortunes, the former International Development Secretary said the Government should slash tax and spending while taking an uncompromising stance on law and order.
Her comments, in an article for The House magazine, pile further pressure on the Prime Minister as she prepares to address the Tory rank-and-file in Birmingham.
She said: "Gone are the days of flagship policies giving millions the chance to own their own home, start their own business, become share owners, and offer choice in public services. Now we are showcasing taxes on coffee cups, bans on straws and dictating to people what they can and cannot eat.
"Presently the so called 'solutions' proposed to every problem by this government are always the same – more tax, more spending, more red tape, more burdens and barriers to individuals that made it harder for them to get on and succeed. We need to once again be the party of low taxes and small, but effective and relevant government."
The Witham MP went on: "It’s time to reject the nanny-state big government creep that has infected this government and once again embrace our true Conservative values to inspire Britain and deliver a prosperous future."
Among her proposals for turning around the Tories' fortunes are merging National Insurance with income tax, increased spending on defence and the police, and tougher sentences for dangerous and persistent offenders.
She said: "To be relevant and to win the battle of ideas in politics, the Conservative government must show itself to be Britain’s great liberating force; freeing families and businesses to succeed; opening up markets to more choice; and promoting aspiration, opportunity and meritocracy in all we do."
Ms Patel was forced to quit the Government last November after failing to inform Theresa May about a string of meeting with senior Israeli officials, including Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, during s family holiday in the country.