Article in The Times - from Somerset to Sunderland only Boris Johnson can deliver

By Lucy Frazer, Richard Drax, Marcus Fysh and Damien Moore

What voters want Conservatives to offer is an outward looking message of hope for the future. Brexit hit British politics like a tsunami; uprooting traditional party loyalties and for some has turned into a question of democracy itself. Without delivering on the vote of the people we, as a party, face electoral oblivion because voters won’t listen to anything else we have to say.

Many seats that the Lib Dems lost in 2015 voted for Leave in the referendum. Any vulnerability in those seats is more a consequence of the Brexit Party quickly gaining support than it is the result of any sort of Lib Dem recovery.

Holding both leave and remain leaning seats at the next election becomes almost impossible if Brexit Party support remains anywhere near its current level. The only way to halt the rise of Nigel Farage is to deliver Brexit, like the voters demanded in their droves in recent elections. We must show the electorate that they can trust us to deliver.

But this goes beyond delivering Brexit. It’s about giving a big, bold offer to the country after Brexit is delivered. This is why a one-nation Conservative approach is so important. Boris Johnson’s commitment to the environment as Mayor of London led the way for a revolution in urban transport and we must seize the technological and industrial opportunities of decarbonisation now.

His commitment to ensure better secondary school funding is particularly important to parents in rural communities, and he’s made clear that he wants to see improvements to primary and further education too.

His support for a responsible housing policy, shown in London, is important to ensure young people get the homes they need and communities continue to thrive. Mr Johnson is committed to responsible development, taking account of local concerns, to allow people to live in the communities they grew up in, while supporting local businesses.

More than this though we must recover our hopeful message of an outward looking, global Britain and reassure voters that we are still very much on the side of hard-working people. We need a leader who can espouse a vision for Britain.

A leader able to talk confidently about our commitment to tackle climate change. A leader who can convey our Conservative message in glorious technicolour calling Jeremy Corbyn to account.

Only Mr Johnson can do that. Only he can sell a one-nation vision for Britain that excites in Sunderland just as much as it does in Somerset. He has our support and he deserves yours.

Originally published in The Times Red Box, 12th June 2019