Rishi Sunak branded 'selfish' for calling General Election by Tory grassroots leader

Rishi Sunak branded 'selfish' for calling General Election by Tory grassroots leader
Ben Chapman

By Ben Chapman

Published: 23/05/2024

- 09:13

The Chairman of the Conservative Democratic Organisation has described the Prime Minister’s decision to call a snap election as ‘a selfish announcement’, saying it will make it harder for Conservative MPs to hold onto their seats.

David Campbell Bannerman said the party had to ‘live with this decision’ but warned he did not think history was 'going to be very kind' to Rishi Sunak.

Speaking on GB News David Campbell Bannerman said:

“I think it’s a very selfish announcement, to be honest. It will condemn a lot more MPs to having a really tough time, unfortunately. And it seems very thoughtless and that’s why it's caused such a surprise.

“Things are going in the right direction; the economy’s getting better and interest rates seem to be on the verge of coming down and that can all help these MPs. But no, he’s decided to go now and we’ve got to live with that and get behind the Conservatives.

“It’s going to be much more difficult.

“Well, I think the Labour team is very weak and you can see that from some of their announcements, like David Lammy, to be honest. Some of the things he’s said do worry us; about Brexit, about foreign affairs, support for Palestine, that sort of thing.

“So I think Labour is pretty fragile, and [Starmer] may be found out in this election. He might be looking at a ‘92 [election result].

“I think the issue is, is this going to be like a ‘92 election, where the Conservatives really surprised under John Mayor or is it like ‘97 was a disaster zone with Blair winning the day.

“I think that is going to be the contest and of course Theresa May managed to lose a 20% lead when she called the unnecessary election, so it's possible that things change. But I think it makes it very, very difficult, and it's a real challenge for the MPs. It wasn't necessary. You could have given it a bit longer.

“No one can understand what he's doing and why he's called it at this particular point. Things are going in the right direction. They are getting better. I think that will increase the prospects for many Conservative MPs in tight battles, and we could actually hold on to many more Tory MPs had we left it till November or December.

“But the decision is made and I think he is in a hurry, really and we've got to live with this decision. But I don't think history is going to be very kind to him.

“I'll [campaign] for the Conservatives and I’ll do it for strong local candidates, but I do struggle. Others like Ben Houchen, the one Mayor we held on to, he wrote out Rishi Sunak, wrote out the conservatives.

“There are ways of doing it and we’ve got to back Conservatives. But I'm afraid there are some problems there that are holding us back.”

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