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Ex-Tory Chair Lord Patten Shreds Party For Becoming 'More Right-Wing And More Unpopular'

Lord Patten:
Lord Patten: "I was chairman of the Conservative Party when there was one."LBC

The Conservative’s former chairman has launched a bruising attack on the party for becoming “more right-wing”.

In an interview on Tonight with Andrew Marr on LBC, Lord Chris Patten, a former cabinet minister, also labelled Brexit the “biggest disaster in British policy making since the Second World War”.

The Conservative grandee, who has also been an EU Commissioner and the last governor of Hong Kong, was asked about the upcoming general election, and whether there was a chance of a repeat of the 1992 vote, when Lord Patten was the Conservative Party chairman and John Major pulled off a victory despite more than a decade of Tory rule.

He said voters would not give the current government the “benefit of the doubt”.

Lord Patten said: “When asked about my experiences of being party chairman of the Conservative Party, and what the relevance is to my views on things today, I make initially the very important point that I was chairman of the Conservative Party when there was one.

“And I think what we’ve seen over the years, is the Conservative Party becoming more right-wing, as it becomes more right-wing, it becomes more populist, as it becomes more populist, it becomes more unpopular, as it becomes more unpopular, it becomes more right-wing.

“And I think what it does in the process is lose something which won John Major the election 1992.”

On Brexit, Lord Patten said: “What nobody is allowed to say is that Brexit was a bloody disaster.

“And you hear politicians, even ones I quite respect, talking about the difficulties in the economy because of the war in Ukraine, and the effect on oil prices, the effects on the economy of Covid.

“What neither of those issues are ones where to use an awful social scientist’s word, we had agency. So, you can perfectly well say that was bad luck for the government. But Brexit we did ourselves. And it was the biggest disaster in British policymaking I think since the Second World War.”

He went on: “I’m 79, I don’t think there’s a chance in hell of us re-joining European Union in my lifetime. .. but I do think there are better ways of organising our relationship with our biggest market, and we should do them, and we shouldn’t when we try to do them, be put off by tabloid headlines’.

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