The leadership candidates set out their stalls

On Sunday I received a number of phone calls from leadership hopefuls. With other colleagues yesterday and on Monday we had meetings with each of the candidates in turn. We asked them for their views on the main topics including the economy, public services, foreign and defence policy,  Brexit, and identity politics. They are all now developing a Manifesto covering the main topics, though most were having to rush to put it together as the timetable is very rapid.

Only Rishi Sunak wanted to delay tax cuts and was keen to persevere with the company and windfall tax rises he was planning as Chancellor. The others  made a  variety of proposals to cut VAT, remove the increase in company tax rates, cut National Insurance or Income Tax. Some wished to pay for this out of fiscal headroom in the current budgets, some from faster growth and some from reductions in public spending. All thought defence spending needed to rise over the rest of this decade. Some had proposals for slimming the civil service and overheads of large services like the NHS, some to reduce welfare spending through more improvements to foster more ,jobs and better paid jobs for those on benefits. A couple queried the pace and cost of UK adaptation to net zero given the growing reliance of China on coal, using that to send us manufactures we import.

All promised to see through the Northern Ireland Protocol bill and if necessary use the Parliament Act to get it through the Lords. All said they would bring it into force if the EU does not offer a solution to the issues we have raised. All said they accepted the result of the referendum and wished to work to use the freedoms Brexit brings to expand the UK’ global reach and influence, develop more trade deals and improve the regulatory position to foster more UK investment and business led growth.

Today there will be votes on the 8 candidates how have made it this far. When we know the results we will at last have some hard polling data to think about which two might emerge victorious form the MP competition phase.


  1. formula57
    July 13, 2022

    When “All said they accepted the result of the referendum and wished to work to use the freedoms Brexit brings…” did you snigger and roll the eyes?

    And let me guess, the “…expand the UK’ global reach and influence…” means leaving the foreign aid budget untouched I expect.

  2. formula57
    July 13, 2022

    If “Only Rishi Sunak wanted to delay tax cuts [etc.]…” but “The others made a variety of proposals to cut [taxes]….”, does that mean that Rishi excludes himself from the others’ cabinets and they from his?

  3. AJAX
    July 13, 2022

    Hunt vs Sunak are they only options standing – both being half-plausible as Cabinet Ministers with some sort of hitherto established national public recognition, the rest should have a sense of proportion & desist. It speaks badly for the last two PM’s as to what they filled the Cabinet with that this is the state of affairs the Conservative Party finds itself in after 12 years of being in Government.

    Off topic: Germany & Japan are both high tax economies, yet it doesn’t appear to adversely affect their economic performance, which is better than ours. The presumption of the superiority of a low tax economy vs a high tax one given this maybe be capable of intellectual challenge.

  4. DOM
    July 13, 2022

    Nothing will change no matter which candidate takes the helm. Both main parties have become State vested interests and that is dangerous for democracy, liberty and freedom

    If Labour achieve power they will take us back into the EU, centralise cash, abolish free-speech, and indoctrinate children and students with their racial and gender poison. I fear the next Tory leader will do the same

    Voting Labour and voting Tory has become has become an act of masochism

  5. Lifelogic
    July 13, 2022

    So only “A couple queried the pace and cost of UK adaptation to net zero given the growing reliance of China on coal, using that to send us manufactures we import.” Two out of eight is pathetic – the net zero agenda is insane, unscientific, the solutions proposed (wind, solar, heat pumps, hydrogen, bikes, walking, public transport, EVs… do not work not even in C02 terms let alone climate terms. It just exports jobs and whole industries overseas.

    Wales is attempting to lower speed limits in urban areas to 20mph so you even get over taken by cyclists. This to encourage walking and cycling they claim. Walking and cycling are powered by extra human food intake and can often actually increase CO2 when you look at the energy used in food production especially for meat, dairy, fish eaters. Walking and cycling are also much more dangerous than travel by car up to 20 times in London. One suspect the real reason is more motorist mugging fine income and a desire to control people.

  6. Original Richard
    July 13, 2022

    So no information from the candidates on (uncontrolled) immigration or the (banning of legal but harmful free speech) Online Harms Bill?

    And just a couple queried the pace and cost of Net Zero, a policy which makes no sense for “Nature cannot be fooled” (Newton & Feynman) unless you accept that Robert Conquest’s second and third laws of politics are applying.

  7. Lifelogic
    July 13, 2022

    I will run the economy like Thatcher if I win – Sunak pledges.

    One can only judge most politicians by their actions not their words or promises this especially for proven manifesto ratters and vast tax grabbers like one Rishi Sunak. Anyway even Thatcher made many huge error in failing to cut taxes or cut the state back sufficiently, appointing the foolish dope John Major and even letting him join the daft ERM as a precursor to the EURO against the sound advice of her sensible economic advisor. Also in burying us further into the EU. Thatcher also (like Sunak) fell for the insanely damaging CO2 “pollution” con trick.

    So the Queen has honoured the NHS with the George Cross. I wonder if she would have done this if she and the P. Philip had had to call her GP and hold on the phone for hours to perhaps get a video appointment in four weeks time or wait years for urgent cataract, knee, back or hip operations? But she sensibly goes privately.

    1. Lifelogic
      July 13, 2022

      The nurse told the queen: “We’re terribly, terribly proud of the vaccination roll-out.”
      “Yes, it was amazing,” she replied.

      Well one rather expects a health service to be able to inject a liquid into people’s arms. My mother at 80 odd used to inject my father twice a day after just a few minutes of instruction.

      Developing a safe and working Covid vaccine is rather more difficult – but the NHS did not do this work. Nor, it seems, did the Covid Vaccine companies alas. The stats now show the vaccines were often not very effective (or even not effective at all), short lived and not even very safe. In many age groups they have clearly done more harm than good. The young and children should certainly never have been vaccinated. Javid’s attempts to force vaccines into the arms or some health workers was appalling.

      1. Lifelogic
        July 13, 2022

        To illustrate how poor the NHS can be one young person I know has been given serious heart issues following a Covid booster but has been unable to get any proper scans, cardiologist/electrophysiologist appointments or investigations from them for this serious condition caused by the booster. Furthermore she never needed the vaccination at her age as she was never at a real risk from Covid and had already had Covid before any vaccinations anyway. She was coerced into taking them for travel reasons. (She also caught Covid again after the vaccines so not even effective).

    2. Mark B
      July 14, 2022

      He was born in 1980. So how would he know ?

  8. Fedupsoutherner
    July 13, 2022

    In light of the fact we still have nearly 0p illegal immigrants coming in every day and British people are being evicted from residential hotels to accommodate them coukd you ask the questions A. How do you process these people without their identities? and B. Why have all flights to Rwanda been postponed while the election process takes place?

    1. Fedupsoutherner
      July 13, 2022

      That should read 500

  9. Mark B
    July 13, 2022

    Good morning.

    On Sunday I received a number of phone calls from leadership hopefuls.

    And how many telephone calls, emails, letters and meetings did you have prior to them soliciting for your vote ? I ask as, as we all know, before this very few of them paid little attention to the advice you were offering.

    Like Theresa May and Alexander Johnson, all will say and promise everything to get the top job.

    As someone once said;

    “Those are my principles, and if you don’t like them… well, I have others.”

    1. hefner
      July 22, 2022

      Marx, Groucho.
      In fact a very useful set of principles as recently exemplified by our future PM.

  10. Iain gill
    July 13, 2022

    I see that the Welsh labour party is killing itself by replacing 30 mph limits with 20mph limits throughout the country.

    The goal is wide open for other parties to talk sense, etc already laid out some common sense.

    1. Mark
      July 14, 2022

      That should result in increased pollution as vehicles are forced to use low gears to avoid speeding.

      1. Iain Gill
        July 14, 2022

        correct, and more wear and tear on cars making them last less long and take more precious resources to build their replacements sooner

  11. Denis Cooper
    July 13, 2022

    “All promised to see through the Northern Ireland Protocol bill and if necessary use the Parliament Act to get it through the Lords. All said they would bring it into force if the EU does not offer a solution to the issues we have raised.”

    And we must hold all of them to that, not just the winning candidate.

    As I have said before, eg here:

    I would not have gone about it like this.

    I would have started by passing the UK laws to make it an offence to export non-compliant goods across the land border into the EU, which would not be a breach of the protocol, so-called “international law”, and when I had set up a working, reasonable, system of export controls I would told the EU that EU controls on imports into Northern Ireland were no longer necessary and would be discontinued, preferably with their agreement but if necessary without their agreement.

  12. turboterrier
    July 13, 2022

    Most people I have spoken to want:
    Total commitment to getting Brexit fully sorted.
    Stopping all the dingy invaders and looking after our own country first.
    Forget climate change and Net Zero and get this country competitive with cheap reliable
    Cut the waste within government departments.
    Have a focus and commitment to getting things done.
    Sorting out the benefit shambles
    All the basic stuff we have ever wanted year on year. JFDI it is not impossible if the government has the will and conviction in its self. No more remainers influencing policies,

  13. Denis Cooper
    July 13, 2022

    To my surprise I have the following letter in the Irish Times today, as “A view from Britain”:

    “If the Tories are serious about sorting out the Northern Ireland protocol and completing Brexit they must choose a new leader who is prepared to tell the EU that we will no longer apply any EU checks to goods coming in from Great Britain, but to be helpful we will instead check the goods which may actually need checking, those destined for carriage across the land border into EU territory.

    Moreover when physical checks are needed they will be conducted at sites conveniently distributed across the province and well away from the border, in the same way that the Irish Republic checks imports of solid fuel from Northern Ireland away from the border, and the checks will be applied to locally produced goods on their way to the border as well as goods brought in from outside.”

    I supplied this reference for the Irish government’s checks on solid fuels:

    “NI Protocol: Dublin called out over ‘hypocrisy’ of its new cross border customs checks”

  14. Donna
    July 13, 2022

    Since no Manifesto is binding, so it can be ditched the minute the X are safely recorded, and not a word any of these candidates says can be relied upon, listening to their statements is an exercise in self-deception.

    Watch what they do.

    Sunak is a phenomenally wealthy, rootless, Globalist – who talks tax cuts but implements tax rises. He is largely responsible for the mess the economy is currently in. And as we saw yesterday at his campaign launch, you could hear Blair’s words and even Blair’s voice as Sunak was speaking. Continuity Blairism.

    Hunt is a bland, LibCON, technocratic authoritarian. He was Sec of State for Health for 6 years and is largely responsible for the NHS’ inability to cope with a Low Consequence Infectious Disease. His response to the NHS failings was to support closing down the country and stripping us of our civil liberties.

    Tugendhat is a bit of an unknown quantity, since he has no Ministerial experience whatsoever. But there are very good reasons to doubt that he would consider it his priority to stand up to Macron, let alone advance the cause of a proper Brexit. His track record on opposing Brexit when May was in power makes him unacceptable.

    Mordaunt has woke sympathies and is far too closely associated with Bill Gates and the WEF, none of which are in the interests of most British citizens. I’m sure she’ll intend to Build Back Better.

    Truss seems to be fairly competent but is a bit bland and as she’s a former LibDem, I doubt if we would get anything remotely approaching Thatcherite Conservatism from her despite her ability to pull off a PR stunt.

    I’m waiting to see who gets rejected first out of Braverman, Zahawi and Badenoch.

    1. paul cuthbertson
      July 15, 2022

      Donna – The Globalist UK NWO Great Reset Establishment will be successful in getting the individual they want so as to continue with the agenda/narrative. GUARANTEED.
      YOU / WE are irrelevant.
      However Nothing can stop what is coming, NOTHING.

  15. majorfrustration
    July 13, 2022

    Promises promises – what we also require as voters is an implementation pathway to establish how feasible all these promises are. A trimming of the Overseas Aid Budget might not go amiss.

  16. Ian Wragg
    July 13, 2022

    I notice net zero is missing off your list. The biggest vote lower in history and the elephant in the room.
    Do you really believe the public will continue to support you whilst you charge headlong over this cliff.
    Only Braverman has said she will apply the brakes. She would have my vote.

  17. R.Grange
    July 13, 2022

    So, six years later, it’s apparently news that all the Tory leadership hopefuls say they ‘accept the results of the referendum’.Wonderful.

    What about where the country is now, and the questions that matter now? Do they accept that the anti-Russia sanctions policy has boomeranged and is plunging the world into a recession? Do they accept that lockdowns were a disastrous mistake and must never be repeated? Do they accept that civil liberties and freedom of speech in this country need to be defended by a Conservative government, not strangled? Were the only two who spoke against the Net Zero lunacy the ones with the least chance of winning the vote?

    Let’s see how far their manifestos recognise the grim reality of Johnson’s legacy, and how we must change course.

  18. DOM
    July 13, 2022

    Neither can the next leader be an acolyte of the WEF or support the political ideology that some deceitfully term ‘climate change’ which is invoked to justify asset sequestration and to demonise dissidents as we can now see practiced by the Dutch government

  19. Shirley M
    July 13, 2022

    Can we trust their commitments to Brexit, and everything else? The last 3 CONS PM’s were not honest with us. Is complacency setting in, where they know they can tell us what we want to hear in order to be chosen, but with no compunction to actually carry out their promises?

  20. Sea_Warrior
    July 13, 2022

    The collapse of the Johnson government was something that should have been foreseen by the leadership hopefuls – so I’m rather gob-smacked that most of them are manifesto-less. But we must hope that a vigorous competition will throw up a good leader.
    P.S. I saw Lord Frost on GB News the other evening. I’m sure that I’m not the only here hoping that we will see him in government soon.

  21. Richard1
    July 13, 2022

    A bit concerning there seems to be very little focus on cutting spending. Tax cuts will be self funding to some extent but not all. We need to cut the bloated state, many Conservatives seem to have given up with this.

  22. Bryan Harris
    July 13, 2022

    It really does sound like most Tory candidates for leader have gotten the message on a variety of fronts — What we need now is for them to assemble the complete list of proposals noted above, and tell us exactly how they will be making sure they personally will pursue these aims.

    Policies need to be enshrined within that individual and not used just as a PR exercise to get elected.

    A little competition here would be useful, but the problems only start when a person is elected. Will they really put everything into achieving that which has been promised?
    How trustworthy are they?
    How good – how effective are they at making things work out?

  23. Nigl
    July 13, 2022

    Unlike some high profile contributors to this blog with a litany of things they would change but zero idea how they would achieve it, some ideas emerging but easy to say, difficult to achieve.

    Politicians promising jam tomorrow when it is the same people who have caused the current shortage so in your words I don’t believe them. Did you ask why weren’t they doing all of it already?

    And in other news a question. Where will Network Rail get the 5%, £900 bonus etc they are allegedly offering to rail workers? I thought they were losing vast amounts of money.

    Who in government has signed it off. Did your candidates pronounce on the strikes and offer their solution? I suspect not but strength here should equal strength elsewhere.

  24. Sir Joe Soap
    July 13, 2022

    You all need to think about who’ll make it in the country, not just hand out jobs and preference to the favoured few. The Labour party and country will push for an early election and push your party into extinction if the wrong person (you know who) is chosen.

  25. Peter
    July 13, 2022

    ‘All promised’, ‘All said’.

    Actions speak louder than words. Hence the removal of the last two Prime Ministers.

    1. Atlas
      July 13, 2022

      Agreed. Apart from Johnson’s slavish addition to Net Zero – a policy issue, and his attitude to dealing with facts – a personality issue, my beef with him was exactly what Peter says – all words and little to no action.

      A question for you Sir John – Can any of the candidates be trusted to actually do what they say?

  26. J Mitchell
    July 13, 2022

    So far Kemi Badenoch has impressed me most.

    1. Your comment is awaiting moderation
      July 13, 2022

      Do you know her voting record?

    2. Your comment is awaiting moderation
      July 13, 2022

      Mark Steyn produced a list of four key issues with grass root conservatives
      • EU
      • HS2
      • (The third one cannot be mentioned on here)
      • Net Zero
      Most of the Tory leadership candidates were against only one on the list, Braverman, Mordaunt and Truss were the only ones against two from the list

      1. paul cuthbertson
        July 15, 2022

        YCiAM – Yes I saw Mark Steyn on GB News. He is very good, way above anyone from the BBC.
        None of the candidates are worth a – – – – and the Globalist NWO Great Reset UK Establishment will get who they want. GUARANTEED.

    3. Timaction
      July 13, 2022


    4. Clare Young
      July 13, 2022

      Me too

  27. Lifelogic
    July 13, 2022

    Philip Johnston today in the Telegraph is surely right:-

    “This heatwave hysteria epitomises the Tories’ fatal embrace of nanny statism
    Of course we spend and tax too much when the state has intruded into so many areas of our lives”

    Is it really a sensible use of large sums public money to scare many of the more gullible people and children to death with endless weather and climate porn on the BBC and elsewhere. Just lovely weather as we often get in summer – albeit not often enough so let’s enjoy it.

    1. paul cuthbertson
      July 15, 2022

      LL – We control you. You will own nothing and you will be happy.
      I seem to recall I have heard that before somewhere.!!!!!!!!!

  28. Narrow Shoulders
    July 13, 2022

    Did any of them indicate why they had not resign from the Johnson cabinet if they did not agree with his tax policies?

    I do not want him to win, but at least Sunak is sticking to his principles and standing by past decisions.

    1. Berkshire Alan
      July 13, 2022


      Indeed, we now seem to have a majority of the past Cabinet candidates agreeing with tax cuts, so what happened to change their minds, and why did they go along with tax rises.
      Sorry but if collective responsibility means you have to sell your soul, and your principles, then you should never accept the position in the first place.

    2. Michael McGrath
      July 13, 2022

      “Sunak is sticking to his principles”
      My reaction is to recall Napoleon “Never interrupt an enemy while he is making a mistake”
      This could be Mr Sunak’s Napoleon moment though not, perhaps, the one he has in mind

    3. Leslie Singleton
      July 13, 2022

      Dear Narrow–Whether sticking to principles is praiseworthy rather depends on whether they make sense. I have trouble getting head round the joys of delaying tax cuts whilst putting them up. If cutting is a good idea do so this afternoon. “Delay” is a silly attempt to have and eat cake..

      1. Narrow Shoulders
        July 13, 2022

        Dear Leslie

        My praise was not so much for Mr Sunak as distaste for those who sat in a cabinet that put up taxes without complaint and took the shilling.

        We need conviction politicians not ones guided by focus group, Twitter and staying on the right side of those in power.

    4. Mickey Taking
      July 13, 2022

      insert ‘wrong’ between past and decisions.

  29. Javelin
    July 13, 2022

    I also think this money was spent on the hardware for a national surveillance system as well as software. There is no way all that money was spent on software. Unless we bought a pre written surveillance system from the USA.

    The question is who is using it and when will we be told.

  30. Mickey Taking
    July 13, 2022

    ‘On Sunday I received a number of phone calls from leadership hopefuls’.
    and did you offer your support in return for a job, preferably Chancellor?
    No? Well you should have.

    1. Richard II
      July 13, 2022

      Quite right, Mickey.

    2. miami.mode
      July 13, 2022

      This would probably be among the 3 or so Chancellorships offered by each candidate.

      Evidently Nadim Zahari says he would give Boris Johnson a job – I guess it would be an Orwellian Ministry of Truth..

  31. Enigma
    July 13, 2022

    No mention of lockdown policies or vaccine mandates?

    1. Donna
      July 13, 2022

      Let alone “vaccine” deaths and injuries.

      Move along ….. nothing to see here.

  32. Bloke
    July 13, 2022

    Some politicians are willing to bend over backwards making promises when they seek others’ cooperation to support them.
    Some politicians, after capturing the power they sought, use it to destroy others’ values.
    Withholding tax cuts is the former Chancellor’s stall.

  33. Cuibono
    July 13, 2022

    The thing is…they need to sign a legally binding document with penalties ( fines) if in future the winner does not stick to promises made.
    ie that the successful candidate has become PM fraudulently.

  34. Cuibono
    July 13, 2022

    Suddenly they want your input!!

  35. Hope
    July 13, 2022


    Why are your questions of any value when you link to manifesto? Your party has a recent history of reneging on all policies like economy, taxation, Brexit, getting rid of ECHR, immigration!

    Is this a token show for the little people you all intend to deceive once more?

    No one raised a query about your mass immigration policy? No one mentioned Holland govt have gone one step further to steal 30% of farmers’ land to house immigrants for their mass immigration policy?

    How about UK people unable to get dentist appointments? Waiting lists for NHS growing each day, hugely over expensive local authority because of your mass immigration policy? Will detention centres come back?

    How about food security, wasting billions abroad when millions at home suffering highest taxation and worse disposable income because of your govt’s economic policy?

    I think your selection will be short lived come the general election. And I hope it will. I would not believe a word from anyone in your party especially if it were in a manifesto!

    1. Berkshire Alan
      July 13, 2022

      There are no detention centres any more, they have been outnumbered/replaced by hotels, which must be of a certain standard otherwise complaints are made and compensation may be claimed.

    2. Iago
      July 13, 2022

      The candidates should have been asked if they intended to continue Johnson’s policy, the injection of messenger RNA (DNA in the case of AstraZeneca) into the vast majority of the population. But there was no chance of that.

  36. Lifelogic
    July 13, 2022

    Not very attractive stalls at all alas most are dire socialists. Asked on HS2, net zero, did they support Brexit & did they support vaccine passports then all scored two at nest out of four and only two got two!

    If you added in views on the size of the state, the often worthless degrees for 50k of debt + interest, do they still want to vaccinate children with often ineffective and often dangerous vaccines, did they support the long lock downs and the absurd test and trace, do they think Covid was probably a lab leak, do they support the appalling attacks on landlords and thus tenants, did they approve of blatant manifest ratting, do they think “eat out to help out” was a sensible use of taxes, do they support a full investigation into the serious & proven dangers of the vaccines and the trick the companies got up to in the trials, what view were on the rigged markets in NHS, state/private education, the energy market, do they want to frack, mine & drill now, block the roads…
    Then I suspect they would score even lower as a % but all should be easy questions for real Conservatives. We want free markets & not government rigged ones, we want freedom and choice as to how we spend out own money and sensible government policies not ones that do net harm. We want a sound currency and low taxes and government only doing those very few thing they can do better than people, businesses and charities – but doing these few things efficiently – law and order and defence & not much more.

  37. Cuibono
    July 13, 2022

    Did the hopefuls lay out their plans for any old future plandemic that might wash up?
    Reveal the ideas they toyed with during our incarceration?
    Like forcing children into isolation units, not when sick …but on the strength of an ooky test?
    Whilst, naturally, the generals sip cocktails in their tent on the hill!

    1. Mickey Taking
      July 13, 2022

      ‘ooky test’?

      1. Cuibono
        July 13, 2022

        As in scary, repellent, weird….but I always think of it in a Del Boy way…a bit dodgy!

      2. paul cuthbertson
        July 15, 2022

        MT – ooky test – the PCR test, which the inventor stated was not designed for use with the Covid BS. Then he suddenly ends up dead. Along with the three African leaders who also denied the Covid BS.

  38. MFD
    July 13, 2022

    Sir John,
    Did any of the candidates accept the great damage to many who were vaccinated with an undeveloped “ vaccination” that should not have been used after it was discovered to be damaging peoples natural Immunity permanently.

  39. Mark Thomas
    July 13, 2022

    Sir John,
    Now that the BBC has published it’s annual rich list, what are the candidates proposals for the future of the tv tax.
    Also it would be informative to know their views on the planned sale of Channel 4.

  40. Cuibono
    July 13, 2022

    All of the “candidates” should study the recent history of Sri Lanka and Ghana.
    See what imposed greencr*p has done to those countries!

  41. Richard1
    July 13, 2022

    Amongst the candidates the one saying the most interesting and sensible things is Kemi Badenoch. She isn’t saying anything revolutionary, nor anything that a large majority wouldn’t agree with. Eg net zero is unilateral economic disarmament (an excellent description). The BoE has cocked up massively on inflation, we have to restrain spending if we want tax cuts etc etc. All basic sensible right of centre stuff. But few other Conservatives, and none of the other candidates, even those on the ‘right’, may utter such heresies.

    I think I’m still rooting for Sunak, although he’s made some horrendous errors as chancellor. He is sensible and well trained and has the credibility and recognition for it. Probably also the best candidate to ensure we don’t get a Labour-LibDem-snp horror show at the next election. But if it’s not him let’s take a risk on Mrs Badenoch. Imagine how the left will hate it (and her)!

  42. Bryan Harris
    July 13, 2022

    It’s perhaps ironic that so many candidates now wish to dismantle the policies of the still current government, despite them being heavily involved with them.

    How can we trust them?

    TBH – I’d have a great deal of resistance to vote for any of the remaining 8 – despite the fact that this could let labour in to complete our ruin at the next GE.

    By then of course the Tory media circus would be in town to convince us that the new leader really could walk on water and was pristine clean.

    1. paul cuthbertson
      July 15, 2022

      BH – It is irrelevant who is “selected” or which party wins a GE. Nothing will change until the whole system of our government is changed.

  43. oldwulf
    July 13, 2022


    I read that Sunak’s supporters had “loaned” votes to Hunt, in order for Hunt to pass the first test.

    Will we be seeing an establishment stitch up ?

    1. Mickey Taking
      July 13, 2022

      surely not !

  44. Mike Wilson
    July 13, 2022

    Is who you will vote for, Mr. Redwood, a secret?

    1. Mickey Taking
      July 13, 2022

      after 17:00 we might find out?

    2. miami.mode
      July 13, 2022

      Mike, you would do better asking him who he put his money on.

    3. SM
      July 13, 2022

      I think you can probably take it from recent posts that our host is unlikely to be voting for Mr Sunak, but that he’s far too experienced to make a declaration of his positive intention at this time.

  45. Lifelogic
    July 13, 2022

    Conservative party members certainly do not want the green card, manifest ratter, vast tax increasing, lies today jam never, tax cuts (after he perhaps sorts inflation) socialist with his NonDom, ex-tax avoider wife. So how is Sunak going to try to win? Perhaps by trying to get the even more disliked Hunt into the last two? If he did he will be hated even more!

    Or by getting the other of the last two candidate to pack it in before the members get any say. If that happens the members should still get a vote. Sunak is rightly unpopular with members but also very unpopular with voters.

  46. Brian Tomkinson
    July 13, 2022

    Before looking to see if they have any Conservative policies worthy of our support, they need to be asked if they support: Vaccine passports? Mandatory vaccination? Mandatory mask wearing? Lockdowns? Net Zero?
    If they answer ‘yes’ to any of these, they are unacceptable.
    Do they recorgnise that the government’s ‘cure’ to covid
    was more harmful than the disease?
    Do they support freedom and liberty of the individual?
    Do they support the principle of informed consent for medical treatment, including vaccinations?
    Do they know the difference between a man and a woman?
    If they don’t reply yes to these they are unacceptable.

  47. Mark J
    July 13, 2022

    There is just under two and a half years to turn this sinking ship Government around.

    Who ever is voted in needs to do the following:

    – Cut the cost of living.
    – Finish the job of Brexit and get those trade deals incoming.
    – Having the balls to stand up to the EU over the NI protocol.
    – Pull put of ECHR and get that British Bill of Rights in place.
    – Finally dealing with illegal migration, an issue that will eventually topple this country and public infrastructure/services/housing – if not dealt with.
    – Halting ‘leftist lawyers’ from preventing deportations of people we don’t want here.
    – Axe net zero. When most of our recycling efforts are sent abroad and incinerated, you can’t then impose green taxes on us! Double standards!
    – Get those five million economically inactive into meaningful work, rather than relying on yet more imported labour.
    – Having the bottle to stand up to, and in some cases legislate against this utter Woke madness that is poisoning our society. This wokeness is not freedom of speech for some, it is a way of silencing those that don’t agree with these minority opinions.
    – Make ‘cancel culture’ an illegal activity, punishable by very large fines. Why should someone have their livelihood destroyed for daring to hold a differing opinion.

    However, I have no faith that Rishi would implement many of the above.

    Therefore, would not get my vote.

  48. Denis Cooper
    July 13, 2022

    It should come as no surprise that John Major, the former Tory Prime Minister who used a vote of confidence to achieve our subjugation to the Maastricht Treaty on European Union, now confidently asserts the superiority of international law over the sovereignty of our national Parliament. He and others like him can no longer refer to the “European law” subset of “international law”, as apart from Northern Ireland we have extricated ourselves from that, so now they have to expand it to general “international law”.

    “He also told PACAC the government should show MPs “unexpurgated” advice from the attorney general on the legality of the Northern Ireland protocol bill.

    Asked how parliament should deal with the bill, he said: “Parliament ought to see, unexpurgated, the advice from the law officers to whether or not it does break the law at home or internationally, and if it doesn’t then it’s a matter for parliament.

    “If it does break the law, then it is a bill that ought not to be laid before parliament.””

    1. Denis Cooper
      July 14, 2022

      Quoted by the nationalist Irish News today:

      “Editorial: Cleaning up Johnson’s Brexit mess”

      “… a concern echoed by former prime minister Sir John Major this week when he told a Commons committee that MPs should see the uncensored advice on whether the bill breaks domestic or international law.

      “If it does break the law, then it is a bill that ought not to be laid before parliament,” he said.”

      We had this nonsense in 2013/14 with claims that amendments tabled by Nigel Mills and Dominic Raab were “illegal”; Jacob Rees-Mogg knocked that idea on the head but apparently not hard enough to kill it off:

      “I listened with great interest to the debate about the status of new clause 15 in European and UK law. A principle that we should always state and restate in this House is that, by its very nature, Parliament cannot pass a law that is illegal. We can pass laws that contravene international obligations or that we may decide our diplomatic relations require us to remove or repeal, but Parliament cannot pass an illegal law.”

  49. Mark J
    July 13, 2022

    My preferred choice as leader would be Penny Mordaunt, Kemi Badenoch, or Liz Truss.

    If one of these win, I would like the others in senior Cabinet positions – including Suella Braverman and Tom Tugendhat.

    Jeremy Hunt and Rishi Sunak can stay well away! They have had their time and failed miserably.

    I’ll never forgive Rishi giving away many of our billions unchecked, the massive fraud that occurred and then expecting everyone to foot the bill for his mistakes. Not on!

  50. Lester_Cynic
    July 13, 2022

    My comment awaiting moderation?

    How strange, you should get out more and see what everyone else is saying in the uncensored world such as the TCW where you receive many mentions

  51. No Longer Anonymous
    July 13, 2022

    First black woman PM please.

    If only to piss off Labour and the Left. I happen to think she’s the best candidate too.

  52. keith from Leeds
    July 13, 2022

    Hello Sir John,
    Did any of those leadership candidates contact you since December 2019? Did any of them ask for advice from you about taxation & spending? Do any of them read your diary?
    My only wish is that the winner is actually a conservative who believes in conservative values!

  53. mancunius
    July 13, 2022

    “A couple queried the pace and cost of UK adaptation to net zero ”

    “Queried the pace and cost”?? That is alarming evidence of a total want of understanding of the way greencrap costs are beggaring the nation. If they are not resolutely determined to frack and use all the country’s natural land and ocean resources to bring down costs, they can pack up now.

  54. Lester_Cynic
    July 13, 2022

    You’re a major part of the problem that we’re currently facing, perhaps you should care to reflect on that

    I no longer trust ANY politician, I’ve gone from being a Tory party activist to no longer trusting the word of any politician, quite an achievement for the Tory party?

  55. Wanderer
    July 13, 2022

    It will be interesting to see how our First past the Post system compares to the continental PR ones, when a number of GEs come along in a year or so.

    There are more discontented people than ever here and in Europe, and this will only grow, as far as I can see. There are “alternative” political parties that could get a share of power on the Continent, but somehow it’s difficult to see Reform breaking through the FPTP ceiling in the UK and thus getting any traction.

    Will FPTP drag us into an authoritarian WEF future while PR gives some EU countries an escape route? That would be a horribly ironic outcome given our hopes after the magnificent Brexit vote.

  56. outsider
    July 13, 2022

    Dear Sir John, I see that the BBC seems to have joined those assuming a Sunak-Truss run-off even before your first vote. The Establishment has mobilised, just as it did behind John Major when you made your attempt to rescue that dead-end Government. Almost 30 years later they have still not forgiven you. I recall a very bright and committed business leader telling me a few months before the 1997 election that a seat-by- seat computer program that he had devised predicted a Conservative majority. The power of wishful thinking is infinite for those who have lost touch with the public mood.
    For whatever reason, that mood has again switched strongly against your Government. Given the commonality of most candidates on specific policy issues, please choose someone who can connect with and possibly change that mood, so that the outcome of the next election is not foregone, as it was in 1997.

  57. Original Richard
    July 13, 2022

    No discussion about immigration or the Online Harms Bill? And only two queried the pace and cost of Net Zero?

  58. outsider
    July 13, 2022

    Dear Sir John, please also beware of the establishment tactic of a poll of “the general public”. Most will never have heard of at least half the candidates, just as most would not have heard of Mrs Thatcher before she became leader. Most that did would have associated her only with school milk.

  59. John Hatfield
    July 13, 2022

    Not Sunak. He has already done enough damage.

  60. X-Tory
    July 13, 2022

    The 1922 have rushed this election process, which means the party (and hence the country) will probably be lumbered with another attrocious Conservative leader. The candidates need time to prepare a detailed manifesto, explaining their policies on each topic in detail, and party members – NOT JUST MPs – need to have time to consider these. Party members could then make their preferences known, so that MPs could take these into consideration when making their own choice. Instead choices made for the flimsiest, and probably wrong, reasons.

    No, I’m afraid the ’22 has perverted the election in order to help Sunak the Socialist Stooge. This means he will probably get through to the final two, taking the place of a much better candidate. This election is a farce and the outcome will be another disaster for the party.

  61. Clough
    July 13, 2022

    I agree with Richard North in today’s Turbulent Times: ‘if you want to evaluate the Tory leadership candidates, you have to look at them on the basis of their position on Net Zero and the war in Ukraine’ … ‘A long war, combined with suicidal Net Zero energy policies is sure to cause the greatest collapse of living standards for the better part of a century.’ Richard North also points out that the disastrous impact of sanctions on third world economies is set to increase migration to Europe, and of course Britain in particular, to unparalleled levels.

    I don’t get the impression that these really pressing policy issues are reflected either in the media debate on the Tory leadership, or by the statements of the candidates themselves.

    Something needs to change in the direction this country is taking, and these eight llghtweights are not up to the task.

  62. Mark
    July 13, 2022

    With the first round of voting now complete it appears that Mr Sunak is very unlikely to become the next leader, since even if he goes to the membership ballot, he would be roundly trounced by almost all the remaining candidates, and it appears he is unlikely to be able to stop one from standing against him. This may change the calculus for MPs who have supported him thus far: since Sunak will not be doling out the ministerial prizes it makes more sense to vote for someone who might be, or at least for their choice among the women contenders now likely to head the real chances. His stock might even fade so far that we get a final two among the women. Mordaunt is the clear betting favourite to win overall at the moment and would probably win against Truss, but if she faced Badenoch it could go either way, especially after some more campaigning. Sadly Braverman has insufficient support to go further, but could help Badenoch in later rounds.

    We need to be starting to see who might get sketched into a cabinet with the various choices. Common sense at the Treasury, BEIS, DEFRA and Environment, and a strong pair of hands for the Home Office and Foreign Office would be a start.

  63. APL
    July 16, 2022

    JR: “The leadership candidates set out their stalls”

    Stocked with rancid meat, rotten fruit and desicated vegitables.

    If I came across that on a real market stall, I’d call the trading standards official.

    1. APL
      July 17, 2022

      The reason all the candidates are ‘much of a muchness’ is simple. They’ve all been preselected by Conservative Central office.

      That’s why all the candidates are so one dimensional.

      Return selection to the local constituency party, and you may get a broader base and wider choice of candidates, with more diversity.

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