Tatton MP leads the conversation
Conversation aimed at developing a Conservative agenda based on what matters to ordinary people got underway last week, led by Tatton MP Esther McVey.
Along with Shipley MP Philip Davies, she kicked off the first of ten road shows being held in pubs around the country, as part of Blue Collar Conservatism.
Ms McVey told a packed room at the Brown Cow in Bingley she wants to return spending on overseas aid to 2010 levels which would free up £7 billion, to be pumped into schools and policing.
She asked for other suggestions from the audience, who raised issues including problems around juggling child care provision and caring for elderly relatives while working, small business and the VAT tax burden as well as nurse retention in the NHS.
Ms McVey said: “If politics is not for the people then what is it for? Everyone is saying that Westminster seems so far away, MPs seem distant and we have lost the trust of the people. I thought this is a very dangerous place to be. We cannot be a in a Westminster bubble.
“It is so important to meet people and listen to what they are saying; we have to deliver, because if we do not deliver we will never get that trust back. I want to talk people who want to get on, who have hopes, dreams, ambitions, and have a conversation about how we can make things better not just for us now but for our children and future generations, whether that is about education, the NHS, infrastructure, business or transport. I love talking to people and today (FRI) I am back in the constituency holding surgeries and meetings and visiting a school.”
Headed by Ms McVey the group, which has the attracted support from nearly 100 MPs, wants people to have a voice and help develop the post-Brexit agenda.
Mr Davies said: “This is not about us speaking to people but people speaking to us. The events are about listening.
“Most MPs recognise from their constituents that school budgets are under pressure, crime has been going down and government should be the party of law and order. Esther is saying let’s be proper conservatives and not spend money we have not got or get into debt, let’s re-use the money in a more sensible way so we are actually spending money on the priorities people have in this country. So that is why we are asking for views so we can go back and hopefully get the Conservative Party to develop that kind of agenda which is what we need if we want to win the next general election and avoid the disaster of shaving a Marxist Prime Minister and Chancellor.”
People at the event were also asked to fill in suggestion cards for further policy ideas and rank their top five policy priorities.