Priti Patel REFUSES to rule out Tory Party leadership bid 'I'm a diehard Conservative!'

Priti Patel REFUSES to rule out Tory Party leadership bid 'I'm a diehard Conservative!'
Gabrielle Wilde

By Gabrielle Wilde

Published: 04/03/2024

- 09:57

On Wednesday Chancellor Jeremy Hunt will deliver his budget, three and a half months after his autumn statement

Former Home Secretary Dame Priti Patel has refused to rule out a bid for the leadership of the Conservative Party during an interview with GB News.

Asked if she would be interested in running after the next General Election, she told GB News: “To be honest, I don't know, because I don't want to speculate about what will happen.

“I can tell you now, I spend every week travelling the country and supporting my colleagues. That's what good Conservatives do. I want us to win the election and all my effort is focused on that, helping colleagues actually doing what we can at a national level, as well as speaking Parliament a lot on key bills and legislation.

“I want us to be successful. Rishi Sunak’s success and the success of my party is also our national success. And really, that's where we have to be.

“And as for the polls, I mean, the polls are what they are, but quite frankly, anything could happen between now and a General Election. And I want us to win, that is my bottom line.”

In a discussion during Breakfast with Eamonn Holmes and Isabel Webster, she also said: “I want my party to win the next election and I want to win with Rishi Sunak.

“Quite frankly, this is not about anything else. I don't want a Labour government. End of story. I'm a diehard Conservative and I want my party to be successful.

“And that is why Jeremy Hunt said this is the last Budget before the general election. Throw the kitchen sink at, to have the vision and have the ideas that our country desperately wants.”

On the prospect of tax cuts: “Every Chancellor, and I was once many moons ago in the Treasury and I've been involved in two fiscal events. Downplaying expectations - it's just part of the process, primarily because obviously there's a lot of market sensitive information in the Budget as well.

“Let’s just give Jeremy Hunt that benefit of the doubt.”

She added: “Despite the doom and gloom…I take the view, and I've said this consistently though, I do think the British people deserve more of their own money back. It's a fact. This isn't even a discussion point anymore. We have the highest tax burden in over 70 years.”

On the economy, she said: “The answer to this is we need economic growth. What is so maddening…Liz [Truss], her tenure, she was pro supply side reforms. I think that's absolutely right.

“More housing, more infrastructure, investment and development, and the Government needs to be agile about that, get the money into the country.”

On immigration, she said: “I do think the French should do a lot more, quite frankly. We're paying them I think record sums of money.

“The sad thing is, I look back on all of this. We had a plan. We had a plan called the New Plan for Immigration, linked to the Rwanda policy, building Greek-style reception centres, and I'm sorry to say this, but people that came in afterwards and, in fact the current government, didn't support that plan.”


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