Tory Rebels Plan 100-Day Policy Blitz if Local Elections Prove Disastrous

Conservative rebels plan 100-day "policy blitz" if Tories suffer catastrophic losses in 2024 local elections, aiming to oust Sunak and install a new leader like Penny Mordaunt.

Mahnoor Jehangir
New Update
Tory Rebels Plan 100-Day Policy Blitz if Local Elections Prove Disastrous

Tory Rebels Plan 100-Day Policy Blitz if Local Elections Prove Disastrous

Conservative Party rebels are reportedly devising a 100-day "policy blitz" if the UK local elections on May 2, 2024 turn out to be catastrophic for the party. The plan, aimed at demonstrating that the Tories care about the public's priorities, includes measures to end the junior doctors pay dispute, curb immigration, increase defense spending, jail prolific offenders, and cut benefits.

According to unnamed Tory MPs, the rebels are concerned about Prime Minister Rishi Sunak's low personal satisfaction ratings and the potential loss of half the party's councillors in the upcoming elections. They aim to champion "quick-win and red meat" policies with the goal of ousting Sunak and installing a new Conservative leader, potentially Penny Mordaunt.

The five-point plan for the 100-day policy blitz includes:

  1. Attempting to end the junior doctors pay dispute with a 10-12% offer
  2. Further cuts to legal migration numbers and curbing the number of foreign students staying in the UK
  3. Vowing to increase defense spending to 3% of GDP by 2027
  4. Introducing measures to jail prolific offenders and build rapid detention cells to increase prison capacity
  5. Cutting the benefits bill, with a target to reduce payments for depression and anxiety

One unnamed Tory MP expressed concerns that Sunak is "ill-suited to appealing to voters in the Red Wall" and is seen as an "out of touch multi-millionaire." Another rebel warned that the party is facing an "extinction-level event."

Why this matters: The potential rebellion and policy shift plans highlight the high stakes for the Conservative Party in the upcoming local elections. Poor results could trigger a leadership challenge against Sunak and a rightward lurch in the party's platform ahead of the next general election.

The rebels' concerns have been heightened by the defection of former Conservative health minister Dr. Dan Poulter to the Labour party. Poulter cited changes in the Conservative party that have made it more "nationalist" and less "centre right." Meanwhile, controversial MP Lee Anderson has joined the right-wing Reform party, adding to the threat posed to the Tories. Sunak has refused to rule out a July general election, but has said the election will take place in the second half of 2024, with January 28, 2025 as the latest possible date.

Key Takeaways

  • Tory rebels plan 100-day "policy blitz" if 2024 local elections are disastrous
  • Measures include ending junior doctors' dispute, curbing immigration, boosting defense
  • Rebels aim to oust PM Sunak, install new leader like Penny Mordaunt
  • Defections of Tory MPs to Labour and Reform party add to party's woes
  • Sunak refuses to rule out July 2024 general election, latest date is Jan 2025