I am very cross about one particular aspect of the shambles in and around 10 Downing Street - that I had no appointment from which to resign! There is no purpose in dwelling over the agony which has been played out on our TV screens over the last few days. I am glad that Boris Johnson has now gone and that we can start to rebuild respect for the Party and Government. To do that we must now focus on two matters.
First, the 1922 Committee will urgently start a Leadership election process which we must complete before the House rises for the Summer Recess on Thursday 21 July. I am confident that the excellent Sir Graham Brady will manage the process of winnowing out the very many candidates who will doubtless have a shot at it, down to two people, who will then tour the country for a series of hustings meetings amongst Conservative Party members, with the new PM being in place by September (perhaps sooner). There will be many candidates to choose amongst, and I will always value your views as to who would be best for the country. I am looking forward to welcoming Penny Mordaunt to Wiltshire on Friday 22 July for a Tory Party dinner and believe that she is one of the front runners. She is a very attractive personality and has had a pretty faultless political career so far. So let me know your thoughts.
And second, we must make sure that the Government which he or she heads will once again start to deliver what the electorate need and want as well as what is best for the country. We must address the current cost of living crisis, the current spike in inflation, and especially high energy prices. Wage increases to cover it would be fatal- a wage/price spiral would cement inflation into the economy with disastrous long-term consequences. But wage restraint at a time like this is unlikely to be very popular! Inflation comes from the after-effects of huge Government spending over the Covid Pandemic and now to lessen the effects of the energy price rise. Quantitative Easing and Public spending are inflationary.
I would like to see the Government return to traditional Conservative values- small government, low public spending, low taxes, freedom of the individual, respect for our great institutions and traditions. We must now reiterate our vision for the Conservative future of our country, which the people will once again respect. I would like to see a return to crisp and clear traditional Conservative values and policies, and I will support whichever candidate will deliver that renewal of Conservative values.
The events of the last few days must be cathartic, and allow us to move forwards with a new energy and enthusiasm.