Budget - Rishi Sunak Chancellor - pic by Chris McAndrew, creative commons - grants

Dear Editor,
Despite his nationwide string of defeats in last Thursday’s elections, Rishi Sunak says he’s confident that voters will “stick with” the Conservative Party at the next election.

That would be a novelty, given that even his own party members did not stick with him – when he went head to head with Liz Truss to be Tory leader, they voted for her instead of him, and as the loser he only got to take her place after she crashed the economy.

And now his colleague Suella Braverman MP, the former Home Secretary, is saying that he needs to own the election defeat and she regrets backing him for Prime Minister, so even some Conservative MPs are not sticking with him.

On Thursday the Conservatives were pushed into third place across England in terms of electing councillors.

Indeed in Warrington their 11 councillors were reduced to just one and they are now only the fourth largest group.

They lost 10 of the 11 Mayoral contests in England, including both the largely rural area of Yorkshire covering Sunak’s own constituency, and in London, where the extreme Conservative candidate was a supporter of Donald Trump and retweeted the views of Enoch Powell.

In the only mayoral contest they won, their candidate avoided mentioning that he was a Conservative, decried Sunak in a newspaper article just before the poll, and ran as an independent celebrity instead – as one journalist wittily put it, at that vote count it was easy to spot the Tories, they were the only ones refusing to identify themselves by wearing rosettes.

Here in Cheshire, the Labour candidate for Police and Crime Commissioner unseated the previous Conservative Commissioner and won a 20,000 majority.

In the Wolverham by election on CW&C Council, the Conservative candidate only received 31 votes, last out of the six candidates.

In the Blackpool by-election, voters rejected the previously-winning Conservatives and elected the Labour candidate with the third largest swing since 1945 while the Conservatives only narrowly avoided being pushed into third place.

Rishi Sunak’s arrogant dismissal of what voters are telling him, and his insistence that we will all see the error of our ways and vote for him next time, is a sign that a man who mostly criss-crosses the country at 30,000 feet in executive jets borrowed from his rich supporters to avoid the potholes and the privatised railways can’t hear the voices of the public on the ground demanding change.

While we worry about NHS waiting lists and state schools, he goes private and defends the billion pound tax exemption for Eton and Winchester College.


Phil Tate

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