DAILY MAIL COMMENT: Tory grassroots must get a proper choice

DAILY MAIL COMMENT: Tory grassroots must get a proper choice 2
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DAILY MAIL COMMENT: Tory grassroots must get a proper choice

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Conservative MPs are sometimes called ‘the most sophisticated electorate in the world’.

Recently, though, they have acted more like Gadarene swine, hurtling to their own destruction. And drowning not just themselves in an angry sea, but also the fortunes of their party and their country.

By senselessly booting out Boris Johnson, they not only discarded the Tory party’s strongest electoral suit – they also triggered an unedifying leadership contest. The candidates are knocking seven bells out of one another – repelling voters and gifting Labour powerful ammunition.

Penny Mordaunt’s centrist campaign is stalling over serious concerns about her work ethic, competence, and her evasiveness over supporting extreme trans rights

Penny Mordaunt’s centrist campaign is stalling over serious concerns about her work ethic, competence, and her evasiveness over supporting extreme trans rights

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But we are where we are. We must confront the scenario in front of us, not the one we would prefer. So as the field in the leadership race narrows to three, we appeal to Tory MPs to please regain their senses.

After last night’s fourth round ballot, it’s blatantly obvious Penny Mordaunt’s centrist campaign is stalling. Given serious concerns about her work ethic and competence, and her evasiveness over supporting extreme trans rights, it’s no surprise warning lights are flashing. These all cast grave doubt on her suitability to be PM.

However, she remains in second place – a whisker ahead of Liz Truss. This has led to suspicions that Rishi Sunak’s supporters will deploy dirty tricks to scupper the Foreign Secretary in today’s last ballot of MPs.

Why? Because Miss Truss’s campaign is building up a formidable head of steam. The ex-chancellor won’t relish her being on the two-strong shortlist that goes to the membership for a final decision.

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Liz Truss’s campaign, however, is building up a formidable head of steam

Liz Truss’s campaign, however, is building up a formidable head of steam

But a cynical stitch-up would be an anti-democratic outrage, denying activists a choice between Conservative ideologies.

This paper has always argued the last battle should be between Miss Truss and Mr Sunak. Both are experienced politicians. Both have deftly handled daunting Cabinet challenges. But Miss Truss is a low-tax, small-state Tory and Mr Sunak is closer to being a third way liberal.

To face the future confidently, it’s imperative the party has that conversation.

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Unrealistic demands

To no one’s great surprise, militant unions are threatening strike action after ministers offered teachers, nurses and doctors below-inflation pay rises.

Yet with the cost of living heading to 11 per cent, everyone’s standards are being squeezed. Matching wages would cause higher inflation – and even more pain.

For years, public sector workers have earned much more than their wealth-creating private sector counterparts – and enjoyed generous gold-plated pensions.

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The nation is in dire economic straits. Isn’t it time the hard-Left unions recognised these truths – and stopped their grotesquely unrealistic demands?

Blood on their hands

How much more innocent blood will drench ministers’ hands before they halt the lethal experiment of smart motorways?

On Monday, another driver was killed when a van ploughed into his broken-down car on the M1, where the hard shoulder had been removed to ease congestion.

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Vital radar technology intended to shut lanes to protect stricken motorists was not switched on on Monday when a driver was killed when a van ploughed into his broken-down car on the M1, where the hard shoulder had been removed

Vital radar technology intended to shut lanes to protect stricken motorists was not switched on on Monday when a driver was killed when a van ploughed into his broken-down car on the M1, where the hard shoulder had been removed

Appallingly, vital radar technology intended to shut lanes to protect stricken motorists was not switched on.

Despite the growing catalogue of tragedy, three National Highways bosses who oversaw these death-traps still pocketed £60,000 in bonuses. Talk about rewards for failure!

  • Dominic Raab’s crackdown on the mega-rich who exploit British courts to stifle free speech is hugely welcome. New powers will stop oligarchs bringing questionable lawsuits to bankrupt and silence journalists investigating their wrongdoing. The corrupt should fear the free Press – not the other way round.

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