We will be putting ten sets of questions publicly to each of the main leadership contenders.

  • Britain’s decision to leave the EU is, depending on one’s view, either a glittering opportunity or a total disaster.  If it’s the former, shouldn’t those who created the opportunity now have a chance to make the most of it?  And if the latter, shouldn’t those who brought about the disaster have to clear it up?  In other words, doesn’t a Leave Government now require a Leave Prime Minister – which, since you backed Remain, can’t be you?
  • What evidence is there that you can increase the Party’s electoral appeal, especially in the midlands and the north – where many natural Labour voters will now be tempted not to plump for the Conservatives, but to go to UKIP?
  • You said in your launch speech yesterday that “I want to be clear that as we conduct our negotiations, it must be a priority to allow British companies to trade with the single market in goods and services – but also to regain more control of the numbers of people who come here from Europe”.  But it may well be that Britain will not be able to achieve both objectives at once.  Elsewhere in the speech, you seemed to suggest that gaining more control of those numbers is your priority. Is that right?
  • Are you still committed to a net migration target and – whether so or not – what new plans do you have to reduce non-EU immigration, if any?
  • Your local council wants to introduce a selective school to your comprehensive area.  You support it.  Are you in favour of more selective schools being introduced elsewhere on the same basis?
  • Are the Conservatives still widely seen as the Nasty Party, as you warned we were in 2002?
  • If you are one of the two candidates put before Party members, would you make your opponent deputy leader?
  • Would you appoint George Osborne to your Cabinet and, if so, in what capacity?  You mocked Boris Johnson during your launch yesterday: would you select him for it?  And would you appoint Michael Gove, with whom you have sometimes had poor relations?
  • You will be 63 at the time of the next election, if it takes place during the spring of 2020 as planned.  This means that were you win it, and if the Fixed Terms Parliament Act remains in place, you would be 68 in 2025.  On the one hand, there’s no reason why someone of this age shouldn’t occupy Downing Street.  On the other, it’s a bit on the older side: Margaret Thatcher was in her mid-60s when ousted, and Prime Ministers have generally been getting younger since.  Will you serve a full term if you win in 2020?
  • These are hectic times, and post-Brexit business must command your attention.  But you are standing, strictly speaking, for the Party leadership.  So you will surely want to set out a view on the Party’s future.  What sort of Party Chairman would you appoint?  How do you propose to raise membership, if at all?  Do you want to make Party Conference more accessible to members, and if so how?  See some or all members of the Board directly elected?  What are your plans for candidate selection? (A matter on which you may have views, since Nick Timothy, your former special adviser and our present columnist was unjustly excluded from the candidates’ list.  We’re delighted to hear he’s back on it.)