Guy Opperman is MP for Hexham. Stuart Andrew is MP for Pudsey, Horsforth & Aireborough.
A week today, whilst many are recovering from the referendum, we will come together, with dozens of Northern Conservatives, to campaign once more as members of a united party. We will be putting the divisions of the last few months behind us to look ahead and campaign as Conservatives – whatever the EU result.
It is often said the Conservative Party is the oldest political party in the world. Since Pitt the Younger became Prime Minister in 1783, and laid the foundations of modern conservatism, we have been the political voice of sound finances, aspiration and enterprise. Our party has a long and proud tradition. For hundreds of years, we have forged a long, and sometimes difficult, path to become one of the biggest force in British politics.
Today, we have over 8,000 Councillors and, against all the odds, just over 12 months ago, David Cameron led us to an unprecedented majority after five years of coalition. We are immensely proud of this Government’s agenda to deliver sound public finances and a commitment to social justice.
It was a Conservative Prime Minister, Sir Robert Peel, who fought to abolish the Corn Laws, bringing down the price of food for the many. Later, it was the leadership of Benjamin Disraeli that strengthened Britain’s position in the world, and delivered an improved livelihood for the least well off. As “peace in our time” turned into the Second World War, it was that great Conservative, Sir Winston Churchill, who guided Britain through her darkest days. During the 1950s, Harold Macmillan’s One Nation approach to the economy saw living standards rise and social reforms enacted. Later, Margaret Thatcher restored Britain’s economic success and took back the Falklands after the Argentine invasion.
Our shared history reminds us of the huge challenges our party has overcome, and the immense positive changes we have delivered for Britain – but only when we are united. For the next few days, the EU referendum will undoubtedly dominate our politics. This is a referendum commitment, we must remember, that was only delivered because of the leadership of David Cameron.
Our party has always been a broad church, and there are passionate colleagues on both sides of the EU debate. During the coming week, we know that colleagues on both sides will be fighting like lions for what they believe in. Whatever the result may be, the people of this great country will have spoken. It will then be time to dust ourselves down, and remember what truly unites us all. Not only our history, and our shared beliefs, but the knowledge that only the Conservative Party can provide sound finances, social reform, avenues of aspiration and a real alternative to a Corbyn government.
That is why, on June 26th, we are coming together in the North East to make the Conservative case. We will be putting our referendum differences to one side, and doing what we do best: campaigning to win seats for the Conservative Party. We have around more than 50 North Eastern Conservative activists signed up to join us in taking the fight to Labour on the doorsteps of Northumberland. On Sunday 26th June, at 11am in Prudhoe, Northumberland it will be time for peace, reconciliation – and campaigning”. Anyone who wants to come on our Northumberland action day go to the link here.