Asher Glynn is a Conservative Party member and founder of the Liberal Conservatives.
Since the resignation of David Cameron as Prime Minister, one-nation Conservatives have had a tough time in the Conservative Party.
Theresa May wanted to be a one-nation Prime Minister, but was at the mercy of the European Research Group throughout her time in government and failed to implement any policy with the cloud of Brexit over her premiership. The election of Boris Johnson has caused many one-nation Conservatives to leave the Party, and in some cases, join the Liberal Democrats.
However, we one-nation, Liberal Conservatives want you to stay and fight.
To those who have left us, or are considering leaving, we understand your frustrations with the party. We find it difficult that our Home Secretary has previously supported capital punishment. We find it difficult having a Foreign Secretary and First Secretary of State who has called feminists “bigots”. We find it difficult that the government is fully championing a no-deal Brexit. We have the same frustrations as you.
However, we are optimistic about the future of the Conservative Party. Despite not leading government anymore, the official One Nation Caucus, led by MPs Nicky Morgan and Nicholas Soames, among others, now make up over one third of the parliamentary party. This group of MPs also includes some senior cabinet ministers such as Matt Hancock, Amber Rudd, and Robert Buckland, leading their departments in a one-nation way.
This group is working very hard to win the battle for the soul of our party, and they need our support.
In the leadership contest, Boris Johnson and many of his supporters, such as Johnny Mercer, pledged that he is a one-nation Conservative, and would govern as one. He also responded to letters from the caucus and the Tory Reform Group about his one-nation credentials and plans. In these letters, Johnson claimed to be “liberal”, “progressive”, “compassionate” and “moderate” and with 66.4 per cent of the Conservative party membership, and over half of Conservative MPs, supporting him on this pledge, he has a clear mandate to govern in this manner.
As one-nation Conservatives, our mission is to unite people. Benjamin Disraeli talked about how Britain had become two separate nations: one poor and one rich. His idea about One-Nation Conservatism was to re-unite these two nations in order to create one harmonious country.
Brexit can be seen in a similar way with our country separated into two nations: the 52 percent and the 48 per cent. As Disraeli proposed in 1845, one-nation Conservatives need to follow in our founder’s footsteps and re-unite Britain with a one-nation Brexit. We Liberal Conservatives have taken the view that the best way to do this is to do Brexit as quickly and as well-managed as possible, with a deal. If we are to get out of this mess as unscathed as possible, we all need to compromise and step back from our ideological positions to come up with a solution.
Brexit, however, is not what one-nation Conservatives are in politics for. There are people on both sides of the EU debate that share our values, but it is not what drives us in politics. We have a vision for a pragmatic and liberal Britain with equality of opportunity at the heart of every policy we make. Only under a one-nation Conservative government will you see a strong economy, social freedoms and sound public services, and this is what drives us to remain in the party and fight for our values.
We created our page to counter the infiltration and blatant entryism seen by Leave.EU and former-UKIP members. Arron Banks, co-founder of Leave.EU, boasted about putting 20,000-25,000 members into the Conservative party to vote for the hardest Brexit candidate and to deselect one-nation Conservative MPs.
We are clear that we don’t want to be Blue-UKIP, and that these people that have joined our party just to kick talented MPs out are not Conservatives and should be kicked out. If centrist members leave the party, the only people left in are the hard right, who would like to see Nigel Farage as Prime Minister and wouldn’t mind our precious Union splitting up.
This is why we are writing to you today, to stay in the party and fight for our party to return to being a one-nation Conservative party again, rather than turning into a UKIP tribute act.
We recently set out our ten Liberal Conservative values on our Twitter page, and we invite you to go and read them.
We do not want people who are not Conservatives to join. That is the entryism that Leave.EU and Arron Banks have inflicted on our great broad-church coalition. But, if you are not a member, but support our values as shown on our twitter page, please join the party to support our vision and aims.
To those members considering leaving, the only way to avoid a Jeremy Corbyn government and to make Boris Johnson govern as a one-nation Conservative is to stay and fight from within, where we have real influence and power.