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Moderates battle to drag the Tories back to centre ground

NewsModerates battle to drag the Tories back to centre ground

More than 100 moderate Conservatives called on the Chancellor to use tomorrow’s Autumn Statement to drag the party back to the centre ground before next year’s general election.

The One Nation caucus of 106, chaired by former Cabinet member Damian Green, published a 10-point plan that appeared to be a riposte to the hardline rhetoric coming from sacked Home Secretary Suella Braverman and the right-wing “New Conservatives” bloc.

The strategy includes proposals to allow first-time buyers to use 25 per cent of their pension savings tax free for a house deposit and homes left empty by landlords would face a land value tax.

It would also drastically simplify the tax system by replacing different duties on earnings, dividends and benefits with a new tax levied at a harmonised rate. That would stop poorer people paying proportionately far more in income tax, the report claimed.

Together, the ideas would be “a winning electoral strategy for the Prime Minister to reclaim millions of undecided voters” heading into an election, the group argued.

Many centrist Tory MPs are said to believe their voices and ideas are being drowned out by those on the right, who are louder but represent a minority in the party.

Former PM Liz Truss has been trying to mobilise support for her radical approach, which spooked the markets last year. She launched a Growth Commission budget report last week that entails cutting taxes, cutting workers’ rights and tearing up environmental policies.

The One Nation group’s Boosting Growth report favours “practical measures to reach net zero”.

Co-author Stephen Hammond said: “Conservatives win elections when policies represent the hopes and aspirations of our country.

“The British people want a fair taxation system, to be able to buy a home, and for their government to protect our green and pleasant land. These are practical and popular Conservative ideas which will broaden opportunity for everyone in Britain.

“These principles can help form a pragmatic vision and provide a roadmap for a winning election strategy for our party.”

Matt Warman, a former Cabinet minister, said: “One Nation Conservatism will help the Government reclaim the support of millions of voters who are undecided about the next election but who have supported the Conservative Party since 2010.”

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