Time to show some urgency for leadership candidates

The task facing an incoming Prime Minister on September 5th is large.

The first dilemma is how to restructure the Downing Street operation. There are too many posts and senior people vying for PM attention and over loading the diary.Each time Boris was criticised for the behaviour and organisation he put in more people and posts. What does a new PM do to achieve a streamlined operation? Just on the political posts Boris had a Head of Policy, a Chief of Staff, a Minister of State, 3 Parliamentary Private Secretaries. Who could speak for him or who followed up the meetings?

Do we need a Cabinet Secretary, a Permanent Secretary Cabinet office and a Permanent Secretary Downing Street? We used to have just one. Do we need a Perm Sec  Downing Street, a Principle Private Secretary and a chief of Staff?

The second issue is how to get the budget ready for a few days after 5 September that is needed now to see off recession and to ease the continuing fuel price squeeze.

The third issue is how to restore a strategic grip whilst delegating proper authority to Cabinet members and departments. The PM needs focus on a few central objectives, and needs to institute one on one meetings with senior Ministers to establish objectives and how the work of their departments fits into the strategy.

The fourth is to slim the legislative programme and output of departments . We legislate too much. Government interferes too much and presumes too much.,

The fifth is to inculcate a new Ministerial insistence of doing less and doing it better. Ministers need to lead their parts of the public sector to deliver more for less, to improve quality and user focus.

There needs to be a quantum leap in using the Brexit freedoms to improve our prosperity and growth.

The net zero revolution has to switch from top down based on bans, subsidies and taxes, to bottom up based on better products, better value for money and customer choice.

The new growth strategy begins with tax reductions.

Listening to the six remaining candidates last night I think they need to be more ambitious and understand the magnitude of the task ahead to transform our national fortunes.




  1. Mark B
    July 14, 2022

    Good morning.

    I very much agree with our kind hosts last paragraph.

    The successful candidate will have an awful lot to do in a very short space of time. And due to previous administrations mismanagement they do not have as much wriggle room as some may believe. It will take months for them to get to grips with things and, before they will know it, a GE will be upon them. Faced with rising costs and unemployment I think whoever wins will be leading a political party to defeat and a Labour government.

    Alexander Johnson’s true legacy.

    1. Peter
      July 14, 2022

      Urgency is at odds with the tempo of Conservative governments since they last regained power.

      Kicking problems into the long grass and finding excuses for inaction seems a more likely outcome – business as usual.

      1. Peter
        July 14, 2022

        Another one just gone. They are briefing against one another and trying to put the boot in. Three more to go, then party members choose from the last two left standing. Entertaining.

        I hope the winner does not do too much damage before a general election. After that it’s curtains for the Tory party.

      2. Mark B
        July 14, 2022

        Not this time.

    2. PeteB
      July 14, 2022

      I’d add Sir J’s issue 3 and 4 should help resolve issue 1 and 2. If you do much less you need fewer people. Focus on the few things that matter. The idea of a ‘holding’ government now is perfect – less chance to meddle.

      Henry Thoreau, Civil Disobedience: “I heartily accept the motto – That Government is best which governs least”

    3. Lifelogic
      July 14, 2022

      Not really retaining Boris would have given the Tories a better chance of winning though he clearly should have ditched the net zero lunacy. Sunak would be the worse choice as he has caused most of the problems we now face through his tax to death, borrow, inflate, expensive net zero energy & piss down the drain policies. Then he has his green card, his disloyalty to Boris and his wife’s tax avoidance issues.

      Penny Mordaunt is also a deluded net zero enthusiast. But then she read Philosophy at Reading so perhaps cannot be expected to see through the net zero un-scientific con trick and blatant fraud.

      1. The solutions pushed EVs, cycling, walking, public transport, hydrogen, heat pumps, wind, solar… save no or no significant CO2 let alone help the climate. They also push manufacturing, jobs, money and whole industries overseas, damage the economy and push up energy costs amd will freeze people to death.
      2. CO2 is not really the huge problem it has been made out to be. CO2 atmospheric concentrations are not some world thermostat. Even if they were world cooperation would be needed and this clearly will not happen.
      3. The best approach even if climate changes became a problem would be to save the money now and adapt as needed to changes as they arise be they hotter or colder.

      It is this very clear the net zero agenda is insane.

      Lord Frost is no fan of Penny Mordaunt his past junior who he asked to be moved – “grave reservations” and would not serve under Penny Mordaunt.

      1. Lifelogic
        July 14, 2022

        If we cannot have JR or Lord Frost as leader can we at least have them providing the working compass? A Brexiteer and climate realist who would scrap the expensive energy, net zero lunacy now is needed. Kemi seems to be the only one saying remotely the right things – though even she supports the HS2 basket case! Truss is/was a Libdim remainer and never seems very bright to me. Has she really changed is she really up to it.

      2. Lifelogic
        July 14, 2022

        Gillian Keagan is supporting Sunak as she thinks he has done a great job as chancellor and is “up to the job”! How can anyone rational think this when he has been such an appalling Chancellor amd is also a huge electoral liability due to his green card, manifesto ratting, vast tax increases, support of net zero and HS2 and his massive tax avoidance issues .

        Keagan read something unspecified on wiki at Liverpool Poly it seems which perhaps explains her foolish views.

    4. Nottingham Lad Himself
      July 14, 2022

      The dilemma for the hopefuls is how to pretend to have been nothing to do with this so-called party of government which has held office for twelve wretched years.

      It’s a big ask.

      1. Lifelogic
        July 14, 2022

        Especially hard for Sunak with his appalling record, manifesto ratting, green card non dom tax avoidance…

      2. Michelle
        July 14, 2022


        Perhaps the remark of one MP, along the lines of how we the little people will easily forget the party scandal as long as the government gets the economy in shape, is an insight into how their minds work and indeed their contempt.

        Certainly for some money takes priority in all things, but for many others being constantly lied to and taken for granted cannot be sweetened by money alone.

      3. Peter2
        July 14, 2022

        Why worry?
        You would never ever vote Conservative Conservative NHL

      4. Peter2
        July 17, 2022

        You don’t get a vote anyway NHL

    5. paul cuthbertson
      July 15, 2022

      Mark B – Your last sentence.
      The Globalist UK Establishment NWO Great Reset legacy of which Johnson was their puppet. The same will continue with whom ever is “selected” as the new incumbent. Nothing will alter until the whole system of government is changed.

  2. Denis Cooper
    July 14, 2022

    JR, by the time that the new Prime Minister is ready to take substantive action to permanently remedy the harm of the Northern Ireland Protocol, if that actually happens, it will be a year after Lord Frost correctly pronounced that “the unity of the country is paramount”, fifteen months after the publication of the Command Paper, and nearly five years since the Irish government under Leo Varadkar decided to build an insurmountable mountain out a small molehill on the land border.


    “The sensible solution is the same now as it was then: controls on the small volume of goods exported from Northern Ireland into the Republic, to be operated away from border, as declared feasible by Lord Frost, not controls on the much larger volume of goods brought into the province.”

    1. Julian Flood
      July 14, 2022

      Within the EU there is in place a syste for monitoring imports which have opted to pay VAT at destination rather than port of entry. Easily adapted to deal with NI goods.

      But that would solve the problem.

      BTW, why are we exporting so much electricity to France?

      1. Denis Cooper
        July 14, 2022

        I have no doubt that once the decision had been taken it would be perfectly feasible to set up a reasonable system for checking the correct flow of goods, the trickle of exports across the border from Northern Ireland into the Irish Republic, rather than an incorrect flow of goods, the larger volume of imports coming into the province.

      2. Mark
        July 14, 2022

        Because the French have a shortage, with many of their nuclear plants shut down with problems due to ageing. They are scrambling to repair as many as possible before winter. France now has the highest wholesale electricity prices in Europe, and is importing much of the time across most of its borders. Our exports to Belgium and the Netherlands also enable more export to France.

        Markets are betting the French will fail to fix it by winter, with French winter baseload supply trading over €1,000/MWh and peak over €1,500/MWh. There will be no French surplus to keep the lights on in the UK as happened ahead of Christmas last year. Indeed, there could be a bidding war for who gets the blackouts. Still BEIS dither, and only 2 PM candidates seem to understand we will have a problem that can’t be fixed by welfare handouts and temporary tax cuts.

        1. Julian Flood
          July 16, 2022

          And the answer lies beneath their feet.


    2. Jason
      July 14, 2022

      Denis you’re wasting your sweetness – by September we’ll have a new regime set in No10 with new immediate and more pressing problems – as they will see it. So am quite sure the new PM will work it out somehow with the EU to everyone’s satisfaction – besides we have again seen over the past few days how extreme Unionists continue to conduct themselves – they call it ‘culture’- so instead you’d have to ask about DUP priorities when it comes to observing the spirit of the GF agreement – where is the responsible leadership? and despite what we are being told from ERG types about UK going solo we are going to need all the friends we can get in the coming time.

      1. Denis Cooper
        July 15, 2022

        Fortunately I have an abundant supply of sweetness.

        All it needs is for the UK government to learn the difference between “imports” and “exports” and desist from the displacement activity of applying EU checks to goods coming into Northern Ireland, imports, in which the EU has no legitimate interest, and instead apply EU checks to goods destined to cross the border from Northern Ireland into the Irish Republic, exports, in which the EU does have a legitimate interest.

        The UK government could have set up an export control system at any time; there was nothing in the protocol to prevent that being done in the past, and it could and should still be done now.

    3. Walt
      July 14, 2022

      Well said, Denis. So, who decided not to do it? Boris (as Lord Frost indicated)? If so, why?

      1. Denis Cooper
        July 14, 2022

        Boris Johnson wanted his super Canada style trade deal, worth about 30% of GDP, as he told us on TV.

    4. stephen sharp
      July 14, 2022

      Why did a Conservative PM sign the protocol if he didn’t agree with it. Perhaps he didn’t read it.

      1. Gary
        July 14, 2022

        He signed it because Lord Frost negotiated it and so he assumed then it would be ok.. that is until the DUP entered the fray and spoiled the party. But it all started with Frost

        1. Denis Cooper
          July 15, 2022

          Bill Cash argues that It started with Theresa May:


          “When I heard my right hon. Friend the Member for Maidenhead (Mrs May) attack this Bill, I was reminded, because I have been watching these matters as Chairman of the European Scrutiny Committee for a very long time, that the Northern Ireland protocol had its origins in her Administration. Let us not think for a moment that the protocol was an invention of the Prime Minister; it was conceived of over a long time. The pass was sold during the previous Administration. That is the point I needed to make.

          I have heard the condemnations from the former Prime Minister, which I find to be completely unjustified in the circumstances. I was privy to the negotiations going on when Lord David Frost and Oliver Lewis were involved. I know a little about the background, and I suspect my right hon. and learned Friend the Member for Torridge and West Devon (Sir Geoffrey Cox) knows a great deal more than me. I can tell the Committee that the whole thing was conceived in the previous Administration. Let us not put up too much—or at all—with criticism made of this Government, or as it proceeds, a new Administration with a new Prime Minister reasonably shortly, on the basis that they are responsible for the protocol, when it was the previous Administration in the first place.”

          But I would go further back than that to David Cameron and George Osborne and the Treasury and their “Project Fear” lies which weakened the UK’s negotiating position from the start.

          This is a bit like the final scenes in the film “A Bridge Too Far”.

  3. Original Richard
    July 14, 2022

    “…better products, better value for money and customer choice” will never work if electricity is subject to high and volatile pricing and rolling blackouts.

    When I questioned BEIS as to why they have planned almost zero nuclear for the decarbonisation date of 2035 they replied listing “demand management” as a source of energy despite the “Net Zero Strategy : Build Back Greener” claiming that renewables will provide “cheap, reliable, abundant energy available at the flick of a switch”.

    The net zero strategy is so irrational that it only makes sense if you switch to believing it is deliberate economic sabotage instead of simply a prime exhibition of incompetence.

    1. Mark
      July 14, 2022

      The lights went out at BEIS some time ago. Few signs of intelligent life. Perhaps someone will prod them after we have had a winter of “demand management “. A 3 day week for industry, power cuts and disconnections for non payment all loom.

  4. Bloke
    July 14, 2022

    The Govt is too bloated to carry its own weight. Efficient simplicity is needed.

    If a new PM acts to remedy the main issues as SJR indicates, virtually all that follows should sort itself out without the present detailed interference with citizens’ lives.

    1. Ian Wragg
      July 14, 2022

      Get fracking, dig for coal and stop ant further government involvement in wind and solar farms.
      Order 20 RR SMR,s immediately.
      Then we can breathe.

      1. Shirley M
        July 14, 2022

        They may get around to approving use of our own resources now we are helping the EU. It didn’t matter when the UK was struggling, we relied on imports!

      2. John Hatfield
        July 14, 2022

        Far too sensible to ever happen, Ian

      3. glen cullen
        July 14, 2022

        Wise words indeed

  5. Sea_Warrior
    July 14, 2022

    In general, I would agree that too much is being done by legislation and too little by executive action. But some of the bigger problems do require legislation if they are to be solved – and, given the proximity of the next general election, that means some urgent parliamentary action within the next six months.
    BTW, I’ve been keen to put the boot into the Conservative party on this site. But I’ll give it credit for getting a wiggle on with selecting a new leader.

  6. formula57
    July 14, 2022

    Your list points to what an opportunity Boris squandered to be a great prime minister. It is all there for the doing and the taking. Let us hope at least one of the six has the gumption to seize the day and is backed for so doing.

  7. DOM
    July 14, 2022

    Sunak will become the next Tory PM. Labour, its public sector and its powerful client State, the unions, the British hating BBC, the US and the EU will applaud this appointment.

    Sunak’s a drone, a technocrat, just another tedious Blairite that has destroyed the essential character, beauty and freedoms of these islands

    His appointment will lead to a Labour victory at the next GE and if that happens welcome to a Stalinist, Chinese style surveillance nightmare of unimaginable proportions, Centralisation of cash and direct control of our economic life will signal of democracy and privacy, private property rights and medical autonomy. All issues will be weaponised to control every day life.

    Each day we see the invention of fake threats to justify greater controls

    1. DOM
      July 14, 2022

      ‘signal the death knell’

    2. Shirley M
      July 14, 2022

      If the CONS party manage to foist Sunak upon us, then they deserve what they will get, ie. no votes. This is what happens when democracy is ignored/manipulated/overturned. We have suffered all 3 for the last 40+ years (not all down to the CONS). Time for new blood, and hopefully, honest people who do their best to follow through on their promises.

      1. Hope
        July 14, 2022

        This is what happens when JR and chums think you should accept what he/they give you. I will not vote for the dishonest rubbish. They had four chances and blew it each time not even serious about honouring manifesto promises to public as Osborne made clear about immigration. None to date are even discussing the issue. Lothian question dropped and not mentioned either. Same for deficit. Sunak says he is about trust! Lying Nutter.
        Reform for me.

        1. SecretPeople
          July 15, 2022

          ‘Lying Nutter’ is more or less what I declared when reading the surprising news this morning that Sunak intends to cut income tax. Though I was no so polite. One wonders what has been stopping him.

    3. Sharon
      July 14, 2022

      Both guests and presenters of talk radio and gb news have already pointed that there seems to be a ‘fixing’ of the support for Sunak… have hope, Dom, that this will be addressed in some way. Otherwise, what hope is there?

    4. BOF
      July 14, 2022

      DOM, I can only agree, and with the backing of Hunt of similar mindset, be afraid.

    5. Wanderer
      July 14, 2022

      I don’t question your wisdom but I do hope DOM you’ll be proved mistaken that Sunak will be the next PM.

      On the other hand, there’s a piece about Penny Mordaunt in today’s TCW. Her most recent book has a forward by Bill Gates and a recommendation from Tony Blair (those interested can find it on a well known online bookseller’s website). Lord Frost weighed in against her today, too.

      It would be a pity if she and Sunak make the last two. What a choice!

      1. Michelle
        July 14, 2022

        Hobsons springs to mind.

      2. Sharon
        July 14, 2022

        And Lord Moylan confirmed what Lord Frost said about Penny Mordaunt. Maybe she’s not the best candidate.

        As a former Conservative member, I don’t get to vote, but I still think Kemi Badenoch shows promise!

        1. SecretPeople
          July 15, 2022

          I’m told Lord Frost has been laying into Badenoch too, or telling her to step aside. Since he is laying swathe to all contenders, maybe he secretly supports Sunak for PM. Personally, I think they have all forgotten what they are there for, who they work for, whose will they are supposed to be actualising.

    6. Ian Smith
      July 14, 2022

      Sunak is the only one who makes economic sense – we need tax revenue to pay for things so how are tax cuts everywhere going to pay the bills? I’d rather someone with an economic brain than hung-ho radicals trying to further erode our relationship with Europe.

    7. stephen sharp
      July 14, 2022

      Even (people ed) like you get published on Redwood’s Diary.

  8. None of the above
    July 14, 2022

    For my money, Liz or Kemi.

    1. glen cullen
      July 14, 2022


  9. Donna
    July 14, 2022

    “The first dilemma is how to restructure the Downing Street operation. There are too many posts and senior people vying for PM attention”

    The same applies to the whole Government. There are far too many Ministeries and Ministers …. and all their SpAds and bag carriers …… and Civil Servants. Roughly a third of current Conservative MPs are on the Gov’s payroll.

    I am repeating part of a comment I made the other day. The CONs got an 80 seat majority on the basis of two voting straplines:

    EU Referendum: Take Back Control
    EU Parliament Elections 2019: Change Politics for Good. (That was the Brexit Party slogan which drove the CON vote down to 9% and led to May’s sacking).

    Johnson’s Brexit Deal partially took back control and then he did nothing with it. But he did absolutely nothing to Change Politics for Good (ie massive reform of our governmental institutions and electoral processes).

    If the new PM doesn’t do anything to Change Politics for Good, the CONs will be hammered at the next election. More of the same – with a pretty-boy Blairite delivering it – isn’t going to fool the people again.

  10. Old Albion
    July 14, 2022

    All the candidates can make whatever promises they wish, while seeking election. Keeping any of them would be a miraculous change in politicians behaviour.

  11. Dave Andrews
    July 14, 2022

    No doubt slimming down No.10 is needed, but it’s only small beer. The elephant in the room is a colossal national debt that’s growing every year. The deficit from the banking crash wasn’t eliminated before the splurge on the Covid crisis came along. The Conservative government has now lost control of the economy and must borrow yet more to pay for its spending and the interest on the existing debt.
    Unfortunately, the remedy means taking measures that will get the government voted out of office. Rash election promises will trump economic responsibility until the country goes the way of Sri Lanka.

  12. Richard1
    July 14, 2022

    The mushrooming of civil service positions is extraordinary. I hadn’t heard we had all those duplicated roles even in 10 downing st. I’m afraid that waste even at the very centre is another sign of how Boris Johnson just didn’t get it. Conservatives believe in small govt. low taxes. Sound money. Free trade. Light regulation. Personal freedoms. Etc. Kemi Badenoch is the only one speaking out fearlessly it seems to me. I can’t understand what so many MPs see in Miss Mordaunt, I’m sure she’s perfectly competent and (except for the wokery) quite sensible. But PM?!

  13. Stred
    July 14, 2022

    Hopefully, MPs will read this about Aunt Morduant before signing up to a Blairite workery.

    1. DB
      July 14, 2022

      Penny Mordaunt seems to have taken her view on trans issues from her twin brother James Mordaunt, a fanatically anti-Tory campaigner, who has said that “If you are a member of the Conservative Party, a Conservative MP, part of this homophobic, transphobic government, you are complicit [in “pushing LGBTQI+ rights backwards at an alarming rate”].” I recommend googling the article “Tory MP Penny Mordaunt’s gay brother says the Conservative Party is pushing LGBT+ rights backwards”.

  14. Nigl
    July 14, 2022

    All the candidates have sat on their hands around the cabinet table allowing this mess to happen not being particularly impressive, indeed accepting poor performance in their own departments so little suitability in my book for a bigger role.

    To summarise what you said, I am getting BS, not specifics indicating they have neither the economic knowledge or management strengths to truly make a difference,

    An obvious oxymoron. Tory PM candidates in talent contest.

  15. Narrow Shoulders
    July 14, 2022

    And have you heard any of the candidates saying this at the hustings?

  16. Walt
    July 14, 2022

    That’s a good list, Sir John. Who will deliver on it?

  17. Alan
    July 14, 2022

    Given the appalling quality of all the candidates the only thing we can expect is for them to continue the disastrous, ruinous policies with the same maniacal gloablist zeal that Boris has done. It is hard to believe how PM’s always manage to be worse than their predecessor but they do.
    The ruling class has so little in common with the people and so intent ofn their subjugation that I can no longer see any way that conflict can be avoided. You and your colleagues, Mr Redwood, are our enemies.

    1. John Hatfield
      July 14, 2022

      Alan, to my mind, some candidates are better qualified than others. The problem is that the better qualified will not be considered by the globalist luvvies.

    2. SecretPeople
      July 15, 2022

      That is unfair to Sir John (I wouldn’t bother with this blog if I considered him the enemy), but I completely agree with everything else you say.

  18. MPC
    July 14, 2022

    Your last paragraph says it all. This leadership election is a pantomime to people outside of Westminster and the Conservative party. It will result in someone as victor doing more of the same, just as in all pantomimes.

  19. David Peddy
    July 14, 2022

    The Downing St operation is op heavy : so is the Cabinet . 30 members is too many
    The new PM needs to get a grip on all the above including the NI situation and get some real momentum behind energy supply, security and continuity
    A budget removing the NIC increases. cancelling the Corporation Tax increase ( and reducing it ) and the windfall tax; cancel IR 35 and HS2

  20. Philip P.
    July 14, 2022

    A budget won’t do much to tackle the underlying causes of the fuel price squeeze and other cost of living increases. A change of policy leading to reduced international tension and therefore less pressure on energy markets might. A commitment not to print money in pursuit of nanny state objectives, as per 2020-2021, might also help.

  21. Richard1
    July 14, 2022

    Lord Frost has confirmed that mordaunt was hopeless as his deputy in the EU negotiations. That’s enough for me. It’s Sunak if that’s the choice. Penny mordaunt is not credible.

    1. Fedupsoutherner
      July 14, 2022

      Richard. In that case I’d rather have Truss.

    2. Mike Wilson
      July 14, 2022

      Lord Frost said he had not yet decided who to support in the leadership race but that Ms Truss, Kemi Badenoch and Suella Braverman are all saying “very interesting things, things that the country needs to hear”.

      Interesting how people like your goodself can have such an out of touch view. Do you seriously believe that (Braverman is out now) Badenoch would win a general election? Or Truss – who has as much personality and charisma as a damp towel. You seriously believe the country is crying out for right wing politics? I have to tell you that you are wrong. As for Lord Frost – what a great fist of Brexit he made!

  22. Roy Grainger
    July 14, 2022

    You didn’t mention one big problem. Let’s say hypothetically Sunak wins (he won’t). How can he construct a cabinet with people who are both competent and actually agree with his programme on massive tax rises ? The same applies to every other candidate – if Truss how can she find enough competent cabinet members who agree with her on NI protocol ? They can’t, they’ll have to fill important posts with incompetent supporters instead – the most egregious example of this problem in the past was Boris appointing Gavin Williamson at Education. The problem is the Conservatives have two parties in Parliament – a vaguely Thatcherite low-tax small-state wing and a LibDem globalist big government wing exemplified by Penny Mordaunt who want globally set tax rates etc. Neither wing has enough talent to form a competent government.

  23. Javelin
    July 14, 2022

    The Conservative member’s poll have shown a vote for Rishi is a waste of a vote. The Conservative members are clever enough to read the conservative newspapers to figure out who will be a winner and a loser at the next election.

  24. ChrisS
    July 14, 2022

    A perfect analysis of where we are and what the new PM needs to do.
    Boris has proved that a charismatic leader is a tremendous asset but only if they have some attention to detail and management ability. Apart from his other failing, he clearly had neither. A completely rebuilt No 10 is necessary. It cannot be beyond the ability of the leading candidates to carry this out.

    The comments from Lord Frost this morning about Penny Mordaunt are quite worrying. My own view was already that she did not have sufficient experience to take on the top job – yet. Only time will tell whether she can develop the necessary skills to be PM next time round. I hope she gets a full cabinet post in the next administration to help her progress.

    The bottom two are no-hopers and ideally one or both of them should withdraw.
    I cannot understand why Badenoch even thought she should run.

    It should therefore come down to Liz Truss and Sunak.

  25. Clough
    July 14, 2022

    Anyone in any doubt as to what to expect if Mordaunt makes it first over the finishing line should read today’s TCW article on her promotion of net zero, and not least her interesting link to Bill Gates, who she chose to provide the foreword to a book she wrote. Not to mention her gender wokery.

  26. turboterrier
    July 14, 2022

    Well it had to start, virtually guaranteed.
    The character assassination of the other candidates to ensure the final opposition to the post is a complete non runner against the politicians choice as opposed to that of the membership. The last thing we need is any more pseudo brexiteers, we have more than enough on or benches already.

  27. ChrisS
    July 14, 2022

    While I don’t support Sunak for all the reasons our host set out yesterday, I heard the disgraceful interview with Justin Webb on the Today Programme this morning. Webb concentrated on character assassination, endlessly questioning Sunak on his wealth, background, and repeatedly asking what Gavin Williamson was doing for his campaign. He even wanted to know whether Sunak intended to spend the rest of his life living and working in the UK ! A typical BBC hatchet job.
    Sunak was far more patient than I would have been, but then, I’m not running for the top job !

    1. Fedupsoutherner
      July 14, 2022

      Chris S. A bit like the BBC hatchet job on the SAS. Let’s face it. They hate this country.

  28. John Miller
    July 14, 2022

    Sir John both your posts show the response to possible criticism in public life. Spread the blame.
    Regarding a new leader, I have little to say as no-one knows how a person will react to being put in a position of power. I do think that Sunak is not the person. Appointing a billionaire ex-banker, whose wife’s tax status was called into doubt will be an easy target for opponents. We already have a situation where the Left is banding their forces together to force an unwelcome change.
    We are fortunate to have the USA to illustrate the awful consequences of an “anyone but X” policy.
    In our case we would have a mish-mash of Green/Lib Dem/SNP/Labour, instead of a senile old man governing a party composed on the “Smartie” principle – as many different colours as possible, but no brain or substance.

  29. Donna
    July 14, 2022

    Lord Frost has just savaged Penny Mordaunt on the J H-B show on Talk Radio saying she’s unreliable, missing-in-action, and he would not serve in any Government she led.

    Guido Fawkes has the clip.

  30. Bryan Harris
    July 14, 2022

    Yes – we badly need a slimmed down government machine that is effective.
    Assuming that Sunak and other federalists are unelectable, and who would certainly not want to rock the boat by creating such a system, it will be up to those on the right of the party to come together and make sure that we get someone effective in #10.

    Yes – there is a lot to put right – Let’s hope the voting Tories do not follow the lead of the MSM, who clearly want an establishment figure.

  31. TonyP
    July 14, 2022

    An excellent synopsis. Please let us know which candidates sign up to these principles

  32. Bryan Harris
    July 14, 2022

    It strikes me – as we’ve just learned of how Penny Mordaunt has close associations with the World Economic Forum(WEF), that all candidates should provide full details of their involvement with WEF:

    – how many times they have attended WEF conferences;
    – what benefits / support they received from WEF;
    – how much they agree with WEF policies;
    – do they support policies introduced by the Dutch PM to clear farmers off their land?

    There are too many things at stake for us all to go into this leadership election without full and complete data on all candidates.

    If only we had a media that actually investigated such things rather than following the establishment line!

    1. Wanderer
      July 14, 2022

      Well said. And that would usefully reduce the field somewhat!

  33. X-Tory
    July 14, 2022

    Sir John, I agree with all you said, but what we also need is some PRECISION fromm the candidates, and straight answers to straight questions. ALL candidates will say that they believe in low taxes, or levelling up, or whatever, but what are their PRECISE policies. For instance, on taxation, do they believe in the Laffer Curve? If so, what is the optimum taxation rate for corporation tax? I want a precise tax rate. In my view, for the UK, the rate is 15%. I respect your economic knowledge Sir John, so would like to know where you think the ‘sweet spot’ is.

    On Northern Ireland, it is obvious that the Protocol Bill will take a long time to get through parliament (especially the Lords). Given that all the candidates agree that the Protocol is causing problems NOW, what is their solution to solve the proben NOW – not in the future when (or if) the Bill has been passed, bur RIGHT NOW. You, Sir JJohn, get the chance to question the candidates, so why don’t you ask them these simple, direct and searching questions?

    Reply I have asked them. Happy with 15%

  34. Edwardm
    July 14, 2022

    You make good points and they are the sort of things that more Tory MPs should be asking. The more conservative principled leadership candidates got fewer votes – a worrying sign, and no doubt the result of the influence that a clique in central office has had over candidate selection for too long.

  35. Christine
    July 14, 2022

    Sunak is definitely not the man for PM and Mordaunt is not the woman following Lord Frost’s character assassination this morning. Anyone who has written a book forwarded by Bill Gates and champions identity politics does not fill me with confidence.

    Only Tory MPs are stupid enough to grab defeat from the jaws of victory in their choice of next PM.

    1. Mike Wilson
      July 14, 2022

      I wonder who you would want? I’m betting that the person you support would take the Tories to the biggest defeat since 1997.

  36. BOF
    July 14, 2022

    The MP’s and party membership, when making their choices should bear in mind what have been the most expensive and disastrous policy decisions of the Johnson government. These are Lockdown, Furlough, T & T, Business help schemes leading to massive fraud, Eat out to help out, Business closure and most of all, a roll out of vaccination which is now shown, arguably perhaps, to be ineffective and actively harmful. I should add mask wearing to the list.

    Will any of the remaining hopefuls undertake to never again inflict these abominable policies, none of which worked, on the British people?

  37. Keith from Leeds
    July 14, 2022

    Hello Sir John,
    While you have the candidate’s ears how about some blunt talking. A cabinet with 30 to 31 people cannot work efficiently. The best number of people for the new PM to supervise is 12. So reduce the departments of state to 12, but give each Secretary of State 4 deputies. You then have 5 MPs to face down the department Civil Servants & insist they do the job impartially, & do what they are told to do.
    Then reduce Civil Service headcount by at least 50%. If they can work from home then they are surplus to requirements. That would bring some serious savings to the cost of government & allow for proper personal & business tax reductions & may dramatically improve the performance of the Civil Service. Then stop the net zero nonsense & build a reliable nuclear power system based on Rolls Royce’s SNR, instead of trying to build two systems because one is unreliable, then get fracking &/or use coal to get us through the next 10 to 15 years until the SMRs are built. Then stop all immigration for at least 12 months to get a proper system in place & change the law so illegal immigrants get off their dinghies/lifeboats/ navel ships & are bussed straight to the airport to be flown to Rwanda.

  38. ukretired123
    July 14, 2022

    Seems like Liz Truss has proved herself as the only one left able to tackle the massive and multiple problems that exist. She seems to be the only one awake to the dangers and challenges compared to the 2 front runners.
    I fear for the self employed with ex Consultant Rishi who favours them instead. He would come across as the posh boy and bad for the Red Wall.
    Mordant was Missing in action MIA and Lord Frost had to ask Boris to replace her. Very telling indeed.

  39. glen cullen
    July 14, 2022

    If someone has to tells you that they can lead and that they’re a leader…they’re probably not (Liz Truss this morning)

  40. Mark
    July 14, 2022

    I see there have been several excoriating deconstructions of Mordaunt. Of course, we can expect attacks on anyone who looks to be a front runner, but these really are rather damning, ranging from Lord Frost’s experiences of her at the Brexit department through analyses of her positions at GB News and TCW that should give cause for concern. They need a much wider audience.

  41. mancunius
    July 14, 2022

    ‘I think they need to be more ambitious’ – Quite so. I see lots of ‘aspiration’, of the self-referential kind favoured by tv culture, and very little understanding of strategy by any of the candidates.
    What for example is their plan for dealing with the solid remainer wedge of the civil and diplomatic service, now emboldened by having one of its own calculatedly striking down the PM? Let’s please have no more attempts to portray the civil service as ‘impartial’ – it is totally out of control.

  42. Richard M
    July 14, 2022

    Your party is essentially unleadable – its lost, drifting ever further to the right, as demonstrated by your continual hunt for brexit unicorns and your idiotic culture wars. Whoever takes over will be trapped between this and reality. You brexiters will never give up, anyone with even vaguely decent credentials would just get shredded by backbenchers.

    1. Peter2
      July 14, 2022

      Drifting to the right RM ?
      You need to look at the views of the main candidates.
      Why do you want brexit to be “given up”
      It is a majority decision of the people.

      1. hefner
        July 14, 2022

        Come on, P2, your political antennas need to be cleaned if you cannot figure out in which direction the ‘Overton window’ within the CUP has been shifting since June 2016. If deporting people to Rwanda, increasing police powers, limiting free speech, getting out of the ECHR (and as some clowns here would want it of the UN, WHO, …) does not make these antennas capture this movement to ‘the right’, you are even more ‘sad’ than I had thought.
        The U in CUP could be for UKIP with I not so much for Independence but for Intolerance.

        And that has nothing to do with the UK coming out of the EU. The Brexit vote and the way it has been handled by successive governments have been the revelator (as being used with the photographic paper of old) of a rather disturbing trend in some parts of the British society, unfortunately those more likely to be CUP members.

        Where are the One Nation Conservatives today?

        1. Peter2
          July 15, 2022

          Look at the Conservatives current policy drift.
          Higher taxes, high immigration, higher public spending, net zero, climate change concessions, diversity and gender policies.
          Hardly drifting ever further to the right as your pal Richard M claims.

          1. Peter2
            July 15, 2022


          2. hefner
            July 16, 2022

            Do we have to conclude that with all your proofs of a current policy drift to the left and all mine of a current drift to the left, the Conservative Party is still right bang in the centre but with an awful lot of policies that nobody on the right or left would want.
            So what about it scuttling itself and reappearing into a number of parties from (far-)right to socialist (to accommodate Rishi)?
            That would help provide the transparency that so many of the present candidates appear to be wanting for the country, don’t you think?

          3. Peter2
            July 17, 2022

            So a climb down to your agrrement of the original claim of a drift to the right.
            Let’s just wait to the next election hef
            Your pal bill thinks 80 plus seats will change hands.
            Check out the number of times that had happened.

          4. hefner
            July 20, 2022

            It is not that rare: 1945 Atlee +146, 1997 Blair +179, 2010 Cameron +78, 2019 Johnson +80.
            If anything it could be said that the original majority reversal by Labour in 1945 or 1997 were more impressive than Cameron’s or Johnson’s ones, without saying anything of Thatcher’s victory in 1979 (+43).
            Do you ever check anything before commenting P2?

    2. Michelle
      July 14, 2022

      The mind boggles as to how you can see the Conservatives as drifting ‘even further to the right’.
      Most certainly when it comes to any culture war foisted on us by the left the Conservatives have been conspicuous in their absence in any defence of it and most certainly more Corbyn than Corbyn in many areas.

      The only culture war going on is a one sided attack to destroy the long standing host culture.
      Any defence of the culture and more besides is frowned upon. Mainstream media, politicians, arts and academia are making damn sure it stays that way.

      However I do agree with you that the party is lost and unleadable but it’s far from alone.
      The country, now so unrecognisable and with so many different entities to placate, is unleadable.

      1. hefner
        July 20, 2022

        Isn’t it something when a Conservative MP, David Davis, had to resign in June 2008 because of what he rightly thought was an erosion of civil liberties (Counter Terrorism Bill)? Very good of him in those days. But where are the Conservative or other parties’ MPs when we have had Priti Patel’s Police, Crime, Sentencing and Courts Acts passed in April 2022 and coming into force on 28 June 2022?
        In case you have not realised Michelle the ‘war on woke’ is the smokescreen under which civil liberties are slowly eroded, and right now it is by the Conservative Party and its supine MPs.

  43. Bill B.
    July 14, 2022

    As so often in our politics these days, the right choice is…. none of the above.

  44. Mike Wilson
    July 14, 2022

    It looks as though Tory MPs will brazenly prevent Mordaunt from being in the final two. Anything to prevent some spark of democracy taking place. From an outsider’s point of view, it is quite amusing. You’re going to get Sunak and he is going to lead you to defeat at the next election. Mud sticks. All that green card / nom dom stuff is not going to go away. ‘Ordinary people’ – yes, the voters – are not going to forget that he has absolutely no idea how most people in this country have to live.

  45. outsider
    July 14, 2022

    Dear Sir John, Thank you for this rather briiliant analysis, much of it based on experience. If one of the non Sunak-Truss candidates becomes leader, I hope they will have the sense to ask you to help them organise and push through reforms of the way government operates.
    Sadly, “the nasty party” is already in full attack mode, horns blowing and dogs slavering to assassinate the character of one candidate after another in order to get the “right” answer. It must be only too familiar to you and it bullied Mrs Leadsom out of her place. The damage is lasting, will weaken the next Government and stock up an arsenal for your party’s enemies. There is plenty more to come.

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