TRG Board asks leadership candidates to deliver One Nation policy agenda

David Fazakerley

1st Jul 2016

The Tory Reform Group Board has written to all five candidates to the Conservative Party leadership, requesting that they outline their policy agenda. We have asked for this by Wednesday 6th July, and will be emailing each candidate’s response to our members, as well as publishing them on our website.

We Conservatives are beginning the process of electing a new leader of our party and in doing so electing a new Prime Minister of our country. The Tory Reform Group is offering all the nominated candidates the opportunity to demonstrate to our membership, and the country, their One Nation credentials.

Our core belief, as members of the TRG, is that sound, market-led economic policy delivered with a social conscience is both truly Conservative and the only moral and effective way to lead our nation. We believe in confronting both economic and social injustice through a progressive, reforming policy agenda. We believe in breaking down barriers that prevent people from reaching their potential, and in being the champions of equality and opportunity for all. This is our One Nation core.

Just over a year ago, our party was elected as a majority government on a manifesto, which applied the One Nation principles of the TRG for the 21st century. The Prime Minister’s Conference speech in October 2015 took this agenda even further.

In standing down as Prime Minister, David Cameron leaves a proud legacy on which his successor must build, in the centre-ground of British politics, and in the One Nation tradition on which this majority government was elected – investing in our NHS, continuing transformational reforms in education and welfare, and protecting the jobs and incomes of the poorest.

The next Prime Minister faces a challenging environment. They must bring the Conservative family back together; but more importantly bring our nation back together. Negotiating our future relationship with the EU, and our path to fruitful trading relationships around the world, is only one part of the task facing our next Prime Minister. As members of the Tory Reform Group, we know that only One Nation policies driving opportunity for all can deliver that successful future.

It is vital that as members of the Conservative Party, we do not base our choice of our future leader, and Prime Minister, on their position during the referendum campaign. We as a nation have taken our decision and it is incumbent on whomever we choose as Prime Minister to deliver the best possible outcome in our negotiations to leave the EU. Our next Prime Minister must be able to deliver that deal, but also a growing economy, a stronger society, a more prosperous, greener and fairer Britain for the next generation. We should choose our next leader on their suitability for office, and their vision for the UK and our fellow citizens, and nothing else.

Credible candidates have a responsibility to be clear and specific about their policy agenda, as they will take office as Prime Minister as soon as they are elected party leader. In times of great uncertainty, British voters have always turned to the Conservative Party to deliver the best for Britain; with a divided opposition and disparate views across the nations of our United Kingdom, it is more important than ever that the next Conservative leader builds on the One Nation core of David Cameron’s legacy and our Conservative manifesto, and does not retreat into an ideological cul-de-sac of right-wing isolationism, from the world or from parts of our nation.

The Board of the Tory Reform Group therefore invites all nominated leadership contenders to respond by way of an open letter, which we will publish on our website, setting out the key policy areas and priorities that they would deliver in furtherance of our manifesto commitments to a One Nation programme for government.

Signed on behalf of the Chairman, Board and Members of the TRG