Graham Brady MP

21 Jul 2013 16:47:53

Brady and Jenkin urge Cameron to ditch the Lib Dems next year

By Peter Hoskin
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By way of an addendum to my post yesterday, it’s worth noting that both Graham Brady and Bernard Jenkin have today suggested that the Coalition breaks up next year. Speaking to the Sunday Telegraph, Brady says:

“It makes sense to plan an exit well in advance of a 2015 election. We need to convey a clear, separate identity and a separate set of aspirations from the Liberal Democrats.

You can’t get those messages across in three weeks or even three months. You need a sustained period of time to ensure voters are comfortable with what you are saying — at least six months.”

And from the same report:

“Mr Jenkin, a senior backbencher, said he supported calls for the Coalition to be scrapped next year.

‘In the end, actions speak louder than words,’ he said. ‘Unless we are campaigning for a coalition after the election we had better show that we mean what we say and that we want to stand as a separate party and stand for separate things.’”

A few anonymous “senior Consevatives” also offer their views, from claiming that a split would suit both parties, to urging against one. We’re probably entering a season in which such arguments will be aired more loudly and more frequently.

The thing is, David Cameron isn’t playing along. Although he stressed in his Marr interview earlier that he’s aiming to lead a Conservative majority government after the next election, he was also careful to add “I’m not going to speculate about anything else,” and praise the work of the current Coalition. He knows that he may have to rely on the Lib Dems again, after 2015.

24 Apr 2013 12:36:41

How Thatcher's name is being used as a code for loyalty

Screen shot 2013-04-24 at 12.22.43
By Paul Goodman

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David Cameron spoke yesterday evening at a vast party of the Parliamentary Party (largely) to celebrate 90 years of the 1922 Committee.  So did Graham Brady, who presided over the event.  So, scarcely believably, did Sir Edward Du Cann - yes, the Sir Edward Du Cann of Milk Street Mafia fame, who as '22 Committee Chairman helped to topple Edward Heath.*  Du Cann made an old-fashioned Parliamentarian's speech of almost rococo splendour.  "It's worth remembering that he might have become party leader in 1975, if he had stood," a former Minister said to me.

Continue reading "How Thatcher's name is being used as a code for loyalty" »

7 Mar 2013 17:31:00

What Tory parliamentarians want to see in the Budget

By Peter Hoskin
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With the Budget less than a couple of weeks away, I thought it would be a good time to collect some of the recommendations being put to George Osborne by Tory parliamentarians. Of course, the parliamentarians listed below may want other measures too – and there may be other parliamentarians who want what they want – but I’ve tried to go with the most prominent examples from the past few weeks. If you think I’ve missed anyone off, please do shout out in the comments section, or email me on pete @ (without the spaces).

Robert Halfon MP: The reinstatement of the 10p tax rate

RHRobert explained how and why he wants the 10p rate of income tax reinstated in a recent article for ConservativeHome. Here’s a snippet:

“When Labour brought in the 50p income tax-rate, it cost HMRC something like £7 billion pounds overnight, as people changed their behaviour to avoid the new tax. This year, the Coalition will cut that 50p income tax-rate down to 45p, because this is expected to raise more money from the rich, not less. The message of the campaign at — or, alternatively — is that we should use every extra penny raised from this to restore the 10p basic rate of income tax, to help lower earners. Added to the Universal Credit, this will help stop disincentives to employment, and to ensure that work always pays.”

He also discussed the policy on the Daily Politics today.

Continue reading "What Tory parliamentarians want to see in the Budget" »

24 Nov 2012 08:54:59

The 118 Tory MPs the Daily Mail lists as being opposed to gay marriage

By Matthew Barrett
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The Daily Mail this morning reports on the 118 Conservative MPs who have written to constituents indicating their opposition to gay marriage proposals. The Mail says "Their opposition has been expressed in letters and emails sent to constituents who have contacted them with their own concerns", and points out that if these MPs voted against proposals, it would constitute the biggest Tory rebellion in modern times. However, Equalities Minister (and Secretary of State for Culture) Maria Miller pointed out on Twitter that since any vote on the issue would be a free vote, it would not technically be counted as a rebellion.

I have listed the MPs from the Mail's story below.

  1. Nigel Adams (Selby and Ainsty)
  2. Peter Aldous (Waveney)
  3. Tony Baldry (Banbury)
  4. Guto Bebb (Aberconwy)
  5. Henry Bellingham (North West Norfolk)
  6. Sir Paul Beresford (Mole Valley)
  7. Jake Berry (Rossendale and Darwen)
  8. Andrew Bingham (High Peak)
  9. Brian Binley (Northampton South)
  10. Bob Blackman (Harrow East)
  11. Nicola Blackwood (Oxford West and Abingdon)
  12. Peter Bone (Wellingborough)
  13. Graham Brady (Altrincham and Sale West)
  14. Julian Brazier (Canterbury)
  15. Andrew Bridgen (North West Leicestershire)
  16. Steve Brine (Winchester)
  17. Fiona Bruce (Congleton)
  18. Robert Buckland (South Swindon)
  19. Conor Burns (Bournemouth West)*
  20. Simon Burns (Chelmsford)
  21. David Burrowes (Enfield Southgate)
  22. Alun Cairns (Vale of Glamorgan)
  23. Douglas Carswell (Clacton)
  24. William Cash (Stone)
  25. Rehman Chishti (Gillingham and Rainham)
  26. Christopher Chope (Christchurch)
  27. Geoffrey Clifton-Brown (The Cotswolds)
  28. Therese Coffey (Suffolk Coastal)
  29. Geoffrey Cox (Torridge and West Devon)
  30. Stephen Crabb (Preseli Pembrokeshire)
  31. David Davies (Monmouth)
  32. Glyn Davies (Montgomeryshire)
  33. Philip Davies (Shipley)
  34. David Davis (Haltemprice and Howden)
  35. Nick de Bois (Enfield North)
  36. Caroline Dinenage (Gosport)
  37. Richard Drax (South Dorset)
  38. Charlie Elphicke (Dover)
  39. Jonathan Evans (Cardiff North)
  40. David Evennett (Bexleyheath and Crayford)
  41. George Freeman (Mid Norfolk)
  42. Richard Fuller (Bedford)
  43. Roger Gale (North Thanet)
  44. Edward Garnier (Harborough)
  45. John Glen (Salisbury)
  46. Cheryl Gillan (Chesham and Amersham)
  47. Robert Goodwill (Scarborough and Whitby)
  48. Robert Halfon (Harlow)
  49. Philip Hammond (Runnymede and Weybridge)
  50. John Hayes (South Holland and The Deepings)
  51. Gordon Henderson (Sittingbourne and Sheppey)
  52. George Hollingbery (Meon Valley)
  53. Philip Hollobone (Kettering)
  54. Adam Holloway (Gravesham)
  55. Gerald Howarth (Aldershot)
  56. Stewart Jackson (Peterborough)
  57. Gareth Johnson (Dartford)
  58. David Jones (Clwyd West)
  59. Marcus Jones (Nuneaton)
  60. Eleanor Laing (Epping Forest)
  61. Pauline Latham (Mid Derbyshire)
  62. Andrea Leadsom (South Northamptonshire)
  63. Philip Lee (Bracknell)
  64. Jeremy Lefroy (Stafford)
  65. Edward Leigh (Gainsborough)
  66. Julian Lewis (New Forest East)
  67. Ian Liddell-Grainger (Bridgwater and West Somerset)
  68. Peter Lilley (Hitchen and Harpenden)
  69. Jonathan Lord (Woking)
  70. Tim Loughton (East Worthing and Shoreham)
  71. Anne Main (St Albans)
  72. Paul Maynard (Blackpool North and Cleveleys)
  73. Anne-Marie Morris (Newton Abbot)
  74. Karl McCartney (Lincoln)
  75. Anne McIntosh (Thirsk and Malton)
  76. Stephen McPartland (Stevenage)
  77. Esther McVey (Wirral West)
  78. Steve Metcalfe (South Basildon and East Thurrock)
  79. Nicky Morgan (Loughborough)
  80. David Nuttall (Bury North)
  81. Matthew Offord (Hendon)
  82. Neil Parish (Tiverton and Honiton)
  83. Priti Patel (Witham)
  84. Owen Paterson (North Shropshire)
  85. Mark Pawsey (Rugby)
  86. Mike Penning (Hemel Hempstead)
  87. Christopher Pincher (Tamworth)
  88. Mark Pritchard (The Wrekin)
  89. John Redwood (Wokingham)
  90. Jacob Rees-Mogg (North East Somerset)
  91. Simon Reevell (Dewsbury)
  92. Andrew Robathan (South Leicestershire)
  93. Laurence Robertson (Tewkesbury)
  94. Andrew Rosindell (Romford)
  95. David Ruffley (Bury St Edmunds)
  96. David Rutley (Macclesfield)
  97. Andrew Selous (South West Bedfordshire)
  98. Alec Shelbrooke (Elmet and Rothwell)
  99. Richard Shepherd (Aldridge-Brownhills)
  100. Henry Smith (Crawley)
  101. John Stevenson (Carlisle)
  102. Bob Stewart (Beckenham)
  103. Gary Streeter (South West Devon)
  104. Mel Stride (Central Devon)
  105. Robert Syms (Poole)
  106. David Tredinnick (Bosworth)
  107. Andrew Turner (Isle of Wight)
  108. Andrew Tyrie (Chichester)
  109. Paul Uppal (Wolverhampton South West)
  110. Martin Vickers (Cleethorpes)
  111. Ben Wallace (Wyre and Preston North)
  112. Robert Walter (North Dorset)
  113. James Wharton (Stockton South)
  114. Craig Whittaker (Calder Valley)
  115. John Whittingdale (Maldon)
  116. Bill Wiggin (North Herefordshire)
  117. Gavin Williamson (South Staffordshire)
  118. Jeremy Wright (Kenilworth and Southam)
* Conor Burns has stated that he will not be voting against gay marriage but may abstain.

26 Oct 2012 06:22:26

Who are Conservative Friends of Israel? A profile of the Conservative Party's most populous grouping

By Matthew Barrett
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Conservative Friends of IsraelConservative Friends of Israel is an influential affiliate group of the Conservative Party which contains perhaps the largest number of Conservative MPs of any group in Parliament. It exists to promote understanding of and support for the State of Israel in the Conservative Party, and its membership reaches the highest echelons of power, including the Foreign Secretary, William Hague. In this profile, I examine its origins, membership, role, and activities.

Origins of the group

Conservative Friends of Israel (CFoI) is the oldest group of Conservative MPs I have profiled so far: it was founded by Michael Fidler, who was the Conservative Member of Parliament for Bury and Radcliffe between 1970 and the October 1974 election. After losing his seat, he decided to focus on building a pro-Israel group within the Conservative Party - there had been a Labour Friends of Israel group since 1957 - so Fidler launched CFoI in 1974, and served as its National Director. 

Sir Hugh Fraser served as the first Chairman of CFoI, from 1974. Sir Hugh was a Conservative MP of the old school: after a distinguished military intelligence career in the Second World War, he entered Parliament in 1945, and he missed out on being Father of the House to James Callaghan in 1983 by only a few days. Sir Hugh had an interest in oil and the Middle East and served a number of positions in the War and Colonial Offices, before entering Cabinet as the Secretary of State for Air in 1962. He might be best known to some readers as the outsider candidate who came third in the 1975 party leadership contest, behind Mrs Thatcher and Edward Heath, gaining only 16 votes.

Continue reading "Who are Conservative Friends of Israel? A profile of the Conservative Party's most populous grouping" »

22 Oct 2012 15:31:06

Conservative Select Committee appointments announced

By Matthew Barrett
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SelectCommittesGuido Fawkes has a list of new Conservative members of Select Committees, from Graham Brady's office. Mr Brady explains: "For the following committees I have received the same number of nominations as there are vacancies, the following are therefore elected". The appointments are:

Communities and Local Government

John Stevenson (Carlisle), replacing George Hollingbery (Meon Valley), who became PPS to Theresa May at the reshuffle.


Chris Skidmore (Kingswood), replacing Damian Hinds (East Hampshire), who became PPS to Mark Francois, the Minister of State for Defence Personnel, Welfare and Veterans.


Andrew Percy (Brigg and Goole), replacing Dr Daniel Poulter (Central Suffolk and North Ipswich), who was made the Parliamentary Undersecretary of State for Health Services.

Continue reading "Conservative Select Committee appointments announced" »

31 Aug 2012 13:45:56

Graham Brady casts back to the grammar schools row

By Peter Hoskin
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Graham BradyIt may not normally be part of your diet, but the latest issue of the New Statesman contains some tasty morsels for the political glutton. There’s a useful analysis of the Miliband and Balls axis by Rafael Behr; a flat-out brilliant article about political cartooning by Helen Lewis; and an interview with Graham Brady by Caroline Crampton, which is what we’ll focus on here. The subject of the interview — other than Mr Brady himself, of course — is grammar schools. From the back garden of his home, a calm setting for a calm and informative article, he casts back to the row that saw him resign from the Tory front bench in 2007.

The coverage of this interview appears to have picked up on the attacks that Mr Brady makes against official Conservative grammar schools policy. And it’s true, there are some caustic observations amongst what he says. For instance, this:

Continue reading "Graham Brady casts back to the grammar schools row" »

22 Jul 2012 15:57:21

Graham Brady suggests MPs on select committees could get more pay

By Tim Montgomerie
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One of the most significant features of this parliament has been the rise of a much more independent parliamentary party... The small number of frontbench jobs relative to the size of the 2010 intake... The difference between the Coalition Agreement and the manifesto promises that MPs were elected upon... The empowerment of backbenchers by Speaker Bercow... The IPSA factor... No10's party mismanagement... at least ten factors have created what I've called the supercharged backbencher. My guess is that now the genie of backbench power is out of the bottle it won't easily be put back. Those Tory MPs who were part of the "81" or the "91" won't suddenly become ultra-loyal even if the ideal party leader or agenda is suddenly discovered. Rebelliousness is now in the Tory bloodstream with huge implications for how whipping should be carried out.

Brady Graham 470 ConservativeHome

Back to my main point, however, and the topic of the supercharged backbencher. In an article behind The Sunday Times' paywall Graham Brady, Chairman of the 1922 Committee, thinks Lords reform shouldn't even be discussed until we have restored public confidence in the Commons - the primary chamber of parliament. "The Commons," he writes, "should schedule its own business; select committees need more powers and resources to get to the bottom of the misdeeds of banks or government departments; backbench MPs should have a meaningful opportunity to introduce legislation that has wide support. Government should have the self-confidence to allow more “free” unwhipped votes."

One idea that Mr Brady has mentioned in public gatherings on previous occasions - that would empower backbenchers relative to the executive - would be to pay MPs a little more if they serve on select committees - provided that they attend those committees at least, say, 90% of the time. This, he thinks, would properly recognise the workload associated with select committee membership and discourage MPs from resigning from these important vehicles for scrutiny in return for a PPS-ship (pejoratively known as ministerial bag-carrying).

Chairman of Select Committees already receive a premium but not as big a premium as ministers. One source said to me that it was unfair that Andrew Tyrie, the influential Chairman of the Select Committee, should, for example, get a £15,000 pay premium but Treasury Minister Chloe Smith should get paid £35,000 extra for being a Minister of State.

An expenses-weary, austerity-struck public might not like the idea of any MPs getting any more pay in any circumstances but a premium for select committee work may be one of the best possible ways of encouraging MPs to see scrutiny of government rather than membership of government as a worthy parliamentary career path.

2 Jul 2012 20:18:25

34 Conservative MPs write to Andrew Lansley to express "serious concerns" about plain tobacco packaging

By Matthew Barrett
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Lansley2On Friday, 50 MPs, including 34 Conservatives, wrote a letter to the Health Secretary, Andrew Lansley, expressing their "serious concerns" with the Department of Health’s proposal to introduce plain packaging for tobacco products.

The letter stated that:

"There is no reliable evidence that plain packaging will have any public health benefit; no country in the world has yet to introduce it. However, such a measure could have extremely negative consequences elsewhere. The proposal will be a smuggler’s charter. ... this policy threatens more than 5,500 jobs directly employed by the UK tobacco sector, and over 65,000 valued jobs in the associated supply chain. ... Given the continued difficult economic climate, businesses should not be subjected to further red tape and regulation"

The signatories of the letter also expressed concern about the freedom aspect of blocking any branding of tobacco products:

"...we believe products must be afforded certain basic commercial freedoms. The forcible removal of branding would infringe fundamental legal rights, severely damage principles around intellectual property and set a dangerous precedent for the future of commercial free speech. Indeed, if the Department of Health were to introduce standardised packaging for tobacco products, would it also do the same for alcohol, fast food, chocolate and all other products deemed unhealthy for us?"

Continue reading "34 Conservative MPs write to Andrew Lansley to express "serious concerns" about plain tobacco packaging" »

15 May 2012 15:45:08

Tomorrow's 1922 Committee Elections - nominations in full

By Paul Goodman
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8.45pm Update by Matthew Barrett: I have now learned which candidates are being backed by the traditional organisations on the right of the Conservative Party, such as the No Turning Back group. I have highlighted these in purple.


The following have been returned unopposed:-




Posts for which elections will take place (I have marked those previously identified by Tim as members of the 301 slate in blue):

1) Secretary - the following nominations have been received for TWO posts:


2) Executive members - the following nominations have been received for TWELVE posts.

PRITI PATEL - Priti Patel is being backed by both the 301 group, and the right of the Party.

Finally and separately, the following nominations have been received for Conservative members of the Backbench Business Committee - four posts:


20 Apr 2012 13:54:55

One hundred Tory MPs turn out for grammar schools reception

By Tim Montgomerie
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On Tuesday evening Graham Brady hosted the fourth parliamentary reception of 'Friends of Grammar Schools'. About one hundred Tory MPs turned out - one-third of the parliamentary party - to mix with representatives of the grammar school system and also the Education Secretary, Michael Gove. One Labour MP, Kate Hoey, also put in an appearance.

The meeting was addressed by Mr and Mrs Shillings - the Sevenoaks parents who successfully campaigned for the first new grammar school in fifty years. Conservative-run Kent County Council approved the new school after the Shillings collected 2,620 signatures to a petition. Mr Brady, Chairman of the 1922 Committee, hopes for more grammar school expansion by the time of the group's fifth gathering.

20 Apr 2012 06:33:09

Who are the 301? The Tory MPs who want to refresh the 1922 Committee

By Matthew Barrett
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The 301 group is perhaps the most active and important group of backbench Tory MPs. Tim Montgomerie reported last week that three MPs - Charlie Elphicke, George Hollingbery and Priti Patel - want to organise a candidate to be elected to the 1922 Committee's executive who will give the '22 a focus on policy and campaigning. The Spectator's James Forsyth blogged that "The vote for their candidate, and his opponent, will give us the best idea yet of where the backbenches are at the moment politically. Indeed, I expect that the machinery of the 301 group, the most pro-Cameron of all the backbench groups, will be thrown behind the Elphicke-Hollingbery-Patel slate."

To organise or endorse candidates for the '22 is certainly the most power a backbench group has yet wielded in this Parliament. In this profile, I'll be looking at the origins, members, aims and plans of the group to get a sense of what the group wants to campaign for.

Origins of the group

HopkinsLeeThe 301 was first organised by Kris Hopkins (Keighley), a former soldier and leader of Bradford Council, and Jessica Lee (Erewash), a former barrister, and now Parliamentary Private Secretary to the Attorney General, Dominic Grieve. The group began with small meetings of a handful of MPs who were "concerned that the narrative in Parliament was not representative of the conversation" that MPs had had with the electorate while campaigning during the 2010 general election, and also dissatisfied with the fact that the mechanisms of debate amongst backbenchers, and between the back and front benches, were not conducive to trying to correct that narrative. Each of those attending brought a friend, and so on, until after three meetings the group reached 60 members.

Continue reading "Who are the 301? The Tory MPs who want to refresh the 1922 Committee" »

9 Dec 2011 06:34:36

Andrew Mitchell, Damian Green and Graham Brady join the Feltham and Heston by-election campaign

By Matthew Barrett
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IMG_9169As the Feltham and Heston by-election reaches its later stages - it is set to take place next Thursday - senior Conservative MPs have been paying visits to the constituency. In the last few days, the Secretary of State for International Development, Andrew Mitchell, the Minister of State for Immigration, Damian Green, the Chairman of the 1922 Committee, Graham Brady, and the Prime Minister, have all been campaigning in the seat, to try and help Cllr Mark Bowen

IMG_9181At present, the Labour majority stands at 4,658, a majority that Mark Bowen, who was the candidate in 2005 and 2010, has managed to reduce by almost two-thirds, down from 12,657 in 2001. 

I-images_adp_PM_DHL-1161We have some pictures (see right, click to expand), and Bob Blackman MP has another frontline report: 

"One week out from polling day in Feltham and Heston the campaign is shifting up a gear. We have run a strong campaign from the off and with the Prime Minister, the International Development Secretary and the Immigration Minister in the constituency today, as well as dozens of MPs, councillors and activists, today has been a high visibility day. The PM got a great reception at a Cameron Direct at the local DHL depot. It’s clear from feedback on the ground that our local candidate is well respected as a hard-working councillor. We are listening to local people’s concerns. Our key messages of controlling immigration, taking the necessary action to reduce the deficit and reforming welfare to end Labour’s something for nothing culture are really resonating with people on the doorstep. As we enter the final week we will be fighting hard for every vote."

Update 2.15pm: Dr Andrew Murrison MP has sent us this account of his experience campaigning in the seat:

"I’ve just been canvassing in Feltham and Heston with the candidate Cllr Mark Bowen and was there all day last Thursday. I have rarely met a candidate who is so well plugged in to the local community. In such a complex and diverse seat, being comprehensively tuned in is a challenge and one that the other candidates do not appear to have mastered. Being able to get by in a number of languages relevant to the area is a distinct advantage and a real plus on the doorstep. Mark definitely deserves to win."


14 Sep 2011 07:53:18

Graham Brady sets out his core Conservative beliefs in Nicholas Ridley lecture

By Tim Montgomerie
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BRADY GRAHAM After his intervention on education yesterday, Graham Brady, the Chairman of the 1922 Committee, made a rare public speech last night and set out his core Conservative beliefs.

Delivering Conservative Way Forward's Nicholas Ridley lecture Mr Brady emphasised the importance of wider economic ownership as a force for social stability. He also made sceptical noises about fiscal union as a solution to the Eurozone's current problems.

Taking fiscal union first, Mr Brady reminded us of Nick Ridley's words about the operation of the old Exchange Rate Mechanism:

"“Can you imagine me going to Jarrow in 1930 and saying, ‘look boys, there’s a general election coming up, I know half of you are unemployed and starving and the soup kitchen’s down the road. But we’re not going to talk about those things, because they’re for the Bundesbank...’”

Ridley "could have been peering through his bi-focals at the unfolding crisis in the Eurozone today." Brady argued. While, he said, there is an economic logic to a Eurozone-wide fiscal union that does not necessarily make it a politically sustainable project:

"It is surely right to say that the Eurozone should be free to seek the degree of fiscal integration that is necessary to allow the currency union to work. But that does not mean that the Greeks will find centrally ordained austerity tolerable, any more than the Germans will have an appetite for standing behind the debts of their less responsible neighbours."

Brady reminded his audience of Mervyn King's words when, more than a decade ago, he told a Commons Select Committee that economic convergence across the Eurozone would take 200 to 300 years! The only sustainable solution to Europe's problems, argued Brady, was a lot more economic growth. The recipe for that was what it always has been - less government, less regulation, less intervention and a lower tax burden. Unfortunately, he noted, the fight to lessen the £2bn impact of the new Agency Workers' Directive suggests the EU was still going in the wrong economic direction.

The other main theme of Mr Brady's speech was ownership. Ridley had written a defence of ownership in his autobiography, 'My Style of Government':

“To own one’s own house, or business, or the capital which produced one’s retirement income extended freedom of choice, gave people a stake in the nation’s wealth, and required less tax-payer’s money to be spent on them. It produced a large and growing number of people who were not ‘dependent”."

Britain, said, Brady was facing an ownership crisis as well as a competitiveness crisis:

"There are those who contest that the UK has historically set far too much store by home-ownership and that we should be unconcerned that  the average age of the first-time buyer is approaching forty but taken together, this trend, the spread of means-tested benefits, the regime for long term care, the damage done to private pension provision by one of Gordon Brown’s earliest misjudgements, compounded by the current squeeze on household finances which has seen over a million people forced to abandon contributions to their pension funds,  all amount to a massive turn away from a culture of property ownership with the responsibility and independence that goes with it."

Download a PDF of Graham Brady's full Ridley Lecture.


Screen shot 2011-09-14 at 07.52.34

William Hague is Conservative Way Forward's guest speaker at its Party Conference Dinner. Click here for more information.

8 Sep 2011 07:33:23

The senior Tories who backed Dorries/Field yesterday - including Cameron's PPS

By Paul Goodman
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Lists of how Conservative MPs vote on "moral" issues have a perennial fascination (since they tend to divide more evenly than Labour ones.)  Some vote for reasons of principle alone; others, particularly senior ones,  want to show a bit of ankle to the party's right or the liberal media - and these motives aren't necessarily mutually exclusive.

Here below from Hansard is the list of MPs who voted for the Dorries/Field abortion amendment yesterday on counselling.  Among the senior Conservatives who voted in the Aye lobby were Henry Bellingham, Graham Brady, Chris Grayling, John Hayes, Gerald Howarth, Tim Loughton, Maria Miller, and Desmond Swayne, David Cameron's PPS.

I noted yesterday that Liam Fox, Owen Paterson and Iain Duncan Smith voted for the amendment, which was lost by 316 votes to 118.  I will try to have a look later at those who passed through the No lobby.

Continue reading "The senior Tories who backed Dorries/Field yesterday - including Cameron's PPS" »