July 21, 2024


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“Bobcons”, these English conservatives who wanted to revive Liz Truss’ scheme

“Bobcons”, these English conservatives who wanted to revive Liz Truss’ scheme

Liz didn’t give up on the dress. Despite her bitter defeat as British prime minister, where she only served 49 days before being ousted by her own party in October 2022, the former head of government wants to continue to influence politics at Westminster.

On Tuesday, he launched a new movement within the Tories called the “Popular Conservatives” or “Popcons”. Its goal: “to restore democratic representation in Great Britain and implement popular conservative policies,” according to a call to a press conference at 11 a.m. in Westminster. “I’m afraid we haven’t hit the left hard enough,” he declared on the occasion.

A number of Brexit figures were mentioned there, starting with former UKIP leader Nigel Farage. The far-right leader arrived as a presenter on GB News, a new English opinion channel, but his sympathies with the far-right wing of the Tories are well known.

In the ranks of the “Popcons”, we also find the former leader of the House of Commons Jacob Rees-Mogg Conservatives, who during the negotiations with Brussels positioned himself as a staunch supporter of a “hard” Brexit.

Push conservatives to the right

By starting this movement, Liz Truss wants conservatives to embrace more right-wing views. Since his ouster, the former tenant of 10 Downing Street has continued to push his ideas, forcing the government to cut taxes, fight back against the “culture war” and roll back some measures to achieve neutrality and establish tougher immigration policies.

The movement is led by Mark Littlewood, a close friend of Liz Truss, former director-general of economic affairs at the ultra-liberal think tank. It is to him that the former prime minister owes his “mini-budget” – massive, unfunded tax cuts – which fueled panic about British debt.

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In an opinion piece in the “Sunday Telegraph”, Mark Littlewood assessed that since Tony Blair’s time, “institutions and legal structures in England now work against the aims of the Conservatives”, citing as an example the policy of returning migrants to Rwanda censured by the Supreme Court in London.

Strategic timing

The timing of the launch is strategic: the Tories are preparing their plan for the next general election, which should take place no later than January 2025. Prominent conservatives believe that redistricting will balance the party’s move by Rishi Sunak. Since his appointment as Prime Minister.

So far, this reversal has not paid off in the polls, which still overwhelmingly favor the Labor opposition. So these call for radicalization of the party line. MP Damian Moore explains in the “Daily Express” that “Popular Conservatism” is “a return to the formula that people want to vote Conservative”.

As undermining as it may sound, Liz Truss and members of the “popcons” should not resign as fifth Conservative leader Rishi Sunak after the 2016 referendum.

“Making the Party”

With Liz Truss unpopular in the UK, it is hard to know how many elected officials will join the ranks of the Popular Conservatives. A survey by pollster Sawantha in January gave him a net approval rating of -54, the worst of all political figures. “It’s ironic that popular conservatives can’t find a more popular leader,” quipped Chris Hopkins, Savannah’s director of political research.