I have served before. Now I hope to answer the call as prime minister

Boris Johnson delivered us Brexit, rolled out the most successful vaccine program in Europe and led the world on Ukraine. But the last weeks have shown it is right he now steps aside. We should not forget these achievements. We must build on them.

But we also need a change. This nation needs a clean start and a government that will make trust, service and an unrelenting focus on the cost of living crisis its guiding principles.

That is what the British people deserve and it is what we will be judged on. It cannot be achieved without a clean start – unsullied by the events of the past, but also with proven experience and leadership.

In recent days, the Conservative Party has shown it is united in a desire for change. The question is now what form that change takes. My view is clear – the Conservative Party must be a broad church that anyone can find their home in, whether young or old, northern or southern, renter or owner.

We must show leadership and conviction on our Conservative values ​​and their ability to enrich lives across every part of the country. If we cannot then we are nothing.

That is my vision for the party. And only with such breadth and unity can we deliver for the British people.

I am putting together a broad coalition of colleagues that will bring new energy and ideas to government and, finally, to bridge the Brexit divide that has dominated our recent history.

Everyone in the next government will be committed to maintaining and strengthening Brexit, fixing the Northern Ireland Protocol and safeguarding the Union. The full advantages of Brexit are yet to be unleashed.

Taxes, bluntly, are too high and there is an emerging consensus across the party that they must come down. We should immediately reverse the recent National Insurance hike and let hard-working people, and employers, keep more of their money. Fuel tax must come down. And un-conservative tariffs, that push up prices for consumers, should be dropped.

At a time when most people’s primary concern is making ends meet, we need a plan for Britain that gives people hope for a future when our families are better off. We can only achieve this with a competitive, low-tax, high-growth economy.

The cost of living crisis is also a national security issue. Since Vladimir Putin’s savage invasion of Ukraine, we have woken up to the need to secure British supply chains and maintain and build the strength of our armed forces in an increasingly dangerous and uncertain world.

Security abroad is not enough. At home we need to get a grip on the major issues that threaten our way of life – the scourge of crime becoming an everyday phenomenon and the specter of illegal immigration enabled by evil human traffickers. My view is clear – our great country is built on a principle of fairness – that your hard-earned rewards won’t be stolen from you, and that crime – in any form – is unacceptable. More than ever, we need a military-style effort to grip these issues. We can solve them – especially with more police on the streets – but only if we get serious.

That’s why Conservatives are united around the leveling up agenda. Investing in the north, the south-west and in the regions is an investment in the nation as a whole, and will benefit all of the UK. The ideas coming out of universities in the north, the companies that are started in the south-west, the taxes that they then pay – they benefit people all over the UK, including in my constitution in Kent. We are not rivals, but partners.

Keir Starmer campaigned to reverse Brexit. He supported putting an opponent of Nato, Jeremy Corbyn, in power. And he got the big calls on lockdown and the economy wrong. The Conservatives can make a powerful case to the nation that we are the only intelligent choice for voters at the next general election, once we unite after this leadership contest.


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George Holan

George Holan is chief editor at Plainsmen Post and has articles published in many notable publications in the last decade.

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