Priti Patel says Tory party has not covered itself 'in glory'

Priti Patel tells Tory faithful Rishi Sunak’s government has not covered itself ‘in glory’ after ousting Boris Johnson – the ‘most electorally successful PM since Margaret Thatcher’

  • Priti Patel spoke at the Conservative Democratic Organisation conference

Priti Patel has told her fellow Tories that their party has ‘not covered itself in glory’ since ousting Boris Johnson as Prime Minister.

The former Home Secretary also claimed Mr Johnson was the Conservative Party’s most electorally successful since Margaret Thatcher. 

Speaking at the Conservative Democratic Organisation conference in Bournemouth, Ms Patel paid tribute to Mr Johnson, describing him as the ‘man that got Brexit done’ and praised him for delivering on the ‘people’s priority’.

She said: ‘We haven’t covered ourselves in glory, and in fact some parts of Westminster and colleagues have done a better job at damaging our party than the opposition, even the left-wing campaign groups, the civil service that you know, we all struggle with day in, day out.

‘And even I’m afraid some of those in the media that want to distort and make life difficult for us.

Priti Patel told the Conservative Democratic Organisation conference that the Tory party had not covered itself ‘in glory’ since Boris Johnson’s removal

Former Prime Minister Boris Johnson pictured at the King’s Coronation in Westminster Abbey last week

‘We have seen, as discussed today, the ousting of a democratically elected, in fact our most electorally successful prime minister since Margaret Thatcher.’

The Conservative Democratic Organisation conference in Bournemouth is the first of its kind.

The group was set up following Mr Johnson’s removal from office amid anger at the installation of Rishi Sunak as Prime Minister without membership approval.

The group is backed by Tory peer and donor Lord Cruddas and organised by Brexiteer David Campbell Bannerman.

Former cabinet ministers Nadine Dorries and Jacob Rees-Mogg are also taking part in the conference.

Mr Johnson is not expected to attend.

Senior Tory MP Tobias Ellwood, who represents Bournemouth East, recently hit out at his party colleagues for stoking division.

Former cabinet ministers Nadine Dorries (right) and Jacob Rees-Mogg are also taking part in the conference

The Conservative Democratic Organisation conference in Bournemouth is the first of its kind

READ MORE: As new Tory grassroots group of Boris backers holds its first meeting, first on the agenda is a bashing for Rishi Sunak 

The Defence Committee chairman wrote in The Times: ‘A drag anchor of a right-wing caucus is in our ranks, and it has already written off any prospects of victory in 2024. 

‘As statecraft finally returns to No 10, guiding us into far calmer waters, less-than-subtle plots are afoot to shift our party to the right during the blame game that invariably follows electoral defeat.’

He criticised an excessive focus on tax cuts, ‘Europebashing’ and culture wars, warning: ‘This is a recipe for disaster, as disloyal as it is reckless. It fails to recognise the fighting chance we have of winning.’

After giving a speech in central London, Sir Keir Starmer said: ‘I have always said that among Sunak’s weaknesses is that he didn’t actually win a race to be leader of his party. The problem that gives him is that he doesn’t have a mandate for change.

‘The Tory party has been a divided party for a very long time.’

He said that unlike Labour, the Tories had failed to fix their ‘fundamental differences’, adding: ‘It is two or three parties within one party. That sounds familiar, but we have dealt with it.’

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