‘Tory MPs agree that May must go’ – Osborne
THERE is a “consensus view” among Conservative MPs that Theresa May cannot continue as Prime Minister until the next planned general election in 2022, George Osborne has said.
The former chancellor attacked Mrs May’s Government’s record, arguing it was “losing economic credibility” as it is hostile to business, “anti-tech” and pretending it can build the homes the country needs without easing green belt restrictions.
And he attacked the PM for a “big mistake” in telling the 48% of the country who voted Remain in the EU referendum to “shut up”, arguing she felt a backlash at June’s botched election.
Mr Osborne said Mrs May would survive a vote of confidence in the House of Commons, but stressed that was not the true test of the strength of her leadership.
At a Westminster lunch, he said: “The essential question is going to be – is there going to be a change of leadership in this Parliament? The Conservative Party parliamentary party assumes there will be, the Prime Minister has said nothing about that.
“And at some point that is going to come to a head.”
He added: “I would make the observation that it is the consensus view of the Conservative parliamentary party that the leadership should change.
“So at some point something will happen.”
Asked if he regretted his comment about wanting Mrs May “chopped up in bags in my freezer”, which he has already apologised for, the Evening Standard editor replied: “It’s taught me a few things about editorial conference meetings.”
Mr Osborne made pointed remarks which appeared to be aimed at the May Government, which took over from the administration he helped David Cameron run.
He said: “If you as a party set yourselves against the future, if we’re hostile to business, if we think they are the problem, not the solution, if the Cabinet game becomes who can get the most money out of the Chancellor, if we’re anti-tech, if we talk about building homes but pretend they can only be built on brownfields, then we will lose our economic credibility and cause damage to our country’s economic future.”
He said Mrs May’s approach to Brexit had cost the Tories votes at June’s election, adding: “If you say to 48% of the country, decision over, we don’t want to hear from you again, 48% of the country will make their voice heard.”
> George Osborne