A SENIOR Tory MP has warned that his party was losing votes because it no longer “understands” large parts of the UK and is not willing to take a “clear stand” on important issues for fear of offending core supporters.
Former minister Sir Alan Duncan claimed David Cameron has what it takes to lead the Tories to victory at the General Election in May - but only if he “goes for it” and offers a bolder vision to the country.
“Conservatism has always been effective when it understands the country it aspires to govern. And I don’t think we do understand all corners of the country any more,” he warned in an interview with the Huffington Post website.
“We’ve only got one MP in Scotland. We understand our cities, particularly our northern cities, less and less.
“We are retreating and shrinking into safe... areas which means that our overall percentage of support is diminishing. We need to understand the entire country we aspire to govern.”
With polling day only just over three months away, Sir Alan stressed that the party was failing to make an impact because it had not “made a stand on things which are controversial in the short term but respected in the long term”.
“What disappoints me most is we seem less prepared to make a clear stand on something we believe in for fear of offending people, of losing support,” he said.
Asked if the Prime Minister could provide what was needed, he said: “If he pushes the button and goes for it, yes he does.
“He did it over Scotland. He’s quite good when he gets angry.”
The party was running out of time “to make it clearer what we stand for”, he added. “I think that would bank more votes, reap dividends and give people a proper reason for believing in us. We’ve got to work out what it is we are selling. We cannot administer our way to victory.”