Community Activists Network
The chairman of Theresa May’s policy board has left in an attempt to lead internal reform of the party, he said yesterday.
George Freeman, the Conservative MP for Mid Norfolk, said that he was quitting to focus on grassroots work. He called for Sir Patrick McLoughlin, the Tory chairman, to step down and said that “ambitious” internal reform was needed to help the government to reconnect with young voters after its “ill-conceived” election campaign.
Mr Freeman, a junior business minister under David Cameron, was made chairman of Mrs May’s policy unit last year. Writing on the ConservativeHome website, he said that he would focus on his role as chairman of the grassroots Conservative Policy Forum.
The move is little more than symbolic. It is understood that the board was not reconstituted after the election, suggesting that he had in effect announced his resignation from a post that no longer existed. His attack will compound calls for internal reform amid fears that the party lacks the organisational clout to compete with Labour at the next election.
Mr Freeman said that it did not have a coherent economic programme and urged it to reach out to disillusioned voters. In a letter to the prime minister before the party conference he told her that the party risked being seen as “a narrow party of nostalgia, hard Brexit, public sector austerity and lazy privilege”.
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