Sat, 24 February 2024

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Virginia Crosbie: why I had to quit Boris Johnson's government

3 min read

As ministers lined up to resign from Boris Johnson's government this week, Virginia Crosbie faced a difficult dilemma over whether or not she should stay in her post as a parliamentary private secretary in the Welsh Office. She explains her decision to step aside.

Boris Johnson gave me my job. I would not be the MP for Ynys Môn without him. This made the letter I wrote resigning my PPS position and its call for him to resign even more difficult.

But what made you cannot always sustain you and what has happened in those intervening years - between the drama and sheer joy of 2019 and now - is a roller coaster of highs, lows, tragedy and, I hope, a rebirth.

Who thought it would come to this when Boris romped home with an 80-seat majority and vast swathes of the Midlands, Wales and the North blue? Boris Johnson out of office within three years and the Conservatives looking for someone to regroup and lead again? 

The future is bright and any new prime minister will need to carry on this important work

Anyone saying that would have been laughed out of the park.

Disappointment can only cover part of it but I also know that there is optimism and opportunity at this moment too for the country and for the Party. I also know I did the right thing for my country although my heart remains heavy.

Any government would deviate off course under the pressures we have endured these last few years but I don’t think we have gone too far astray.

I know my constituents understand what levelling-up means. They understand that the pandemic has been a huge challenge and has led to the cost-of-living catastrophe. They know war in Ukraine has made it all worse.

They know too that they have a government that cares about their island and many other places far away from London that desperately need investment and good quality jobs. We have a Levelling-Up Fund bid, Shared Prosperity Fund money, investment around the corner in new nuclear, hydrogen and renewables and that’s just on Anglesey. 

The future is bright and any new prime minister will need to carry on this important work.

But "who" is the word now on everyone’s lips. However, I am not sure "who" is quite so important at the moment. The starting point should be "what" the country needs, and that is stability.

Who can offer that along with the development of levelling-up, good Conservative style public finances and a smaller state; international leadership against Vladimir Putin and then make me feel my constituents matter should be the next prime minister as far as I am concerned. 

It’s not too much to ask and I know there are candidates that can deliver!

They don’t have to be some big gun but they do need to understand what Conservatism means and how it can transform communities, not put them under the yoke of dependency – the favourite tactic of the Labour Party.

We don’t need a general election once a new prime minister is in office. My view is that it is Brand Boris people wanted gone, not Brand Conservative. 

Mark Drakeford and Nicola Sturgeon took over from others, too. It’s not a big deal, especially when I am told again and again that the government's legislative agenda is popular. It still speaks to the voters who came flocking to the party three years ago. Let's keep it and improve it while making sure standards in public life flourish.

Our new leader needs to be given time to deliver that mandate to spread opportunity to every corner and every community of the United Kingdom. That I think will be Boris’s legacy and it can be improved on. So, the party goes again. It has much to give.

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Read the most recent article written by Virginia Crosbie MP - Let’s power up Britain with new nuclear


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