According to The Guardian, former ministers in the UK’s Conservative Party are openly criticizing the party’s direction under the leadership of Prime Minister Rishi Sunak. These criticisms come after the party’s losses in the recent council elections and with pro-Brexit MPs upset that plans to abolish over 4,000 EU laws have been dropped. The right wing of the party is at risk of losing discipline entirely.
Former UK Home Secretary Priti Patel spoke out against the Conservative Party high command under Sunak, saying that they were responsible for the election losses. At a conference of the pro-Boris Johnson Conservative Democratic Organisation (CDO) in Bournemouth, Patel called for the party leadership to reflect on the results and praised Johnson for delivering on people’s priorities.
At the same conference, former Culture Secretary Nadine Dorries criticized the party’s decline since Johnson secured an 80-strong majority in 2019. Dorries said the party was “drifting” and lacked an inspirational leader and visionary policies. She also criticized the U-turn on the promised “bonfire” of EU regulations, which she felt demonstrated a lack of ambition. Although Dorries did not call for Johnson to replace Sunak, she said that the solution to most problems in politics is simple: the right leader, the right vision, and the ability to inspire people.
The criticism of Sunak focuses largely on the party’s decision to retain EU laws, a move that has faced controversy and further argument in the Lords. Pro-EU Tory peers are among those who support a series of amendments to limit ministers’ power to scrap any laws unilaterally.