'We're not millipedes!' - Tories must STOP shooting themselves in the foot, says former minister

'We're not millipedes!' - Tories must STOP shooting themselves in the foot, says former minister
Georgia Pearce

By Georgia Pearce

Published: 21/06/2024

- 10:30

Updated: 21/06/2024

- 10:35

The former Minister for London has said the Conservative Party needs to stop shooting itself in the foot.

Paul Scully also told Michelle Dewberry he thought leadership was the problem, not just over the election betting scandal - but the whole campaign.

Speaking on GB News said: "There is an investigation going on so we'll see the detail because this is sort of speculation at the moment. But clearly there's wrongdoing, it really looks like it and it's appalling.

“It feels like we're shooting ourselves in the foot and we're not millipedes. We've only got two feet.

"There's only so much capacity when we’ve got what is effectively a punishment election, when you've got people that are wanting to punish the Conservatives and so they're going to be looking under the microscope at absolutely everything that we do and we're making it easy for them to punish us even further on that basis.

“Because there's no way you should be using insider information, not just because of the morality of it, but frankly, in the middle of election, it just looks absolutely awful. It's just campaign rule number one: Don't do something stupid that you wouldn't want to see on the front of the Daily Mail.

“I used to be a councillor back in the day during the expenses scandal and these kinds of things and I've seen stuff that's going off in Westminster when I was a local politician, and before that when I was a local volunteer, just knocking on doors trying to help out, and you sit there and you wring your hands.

“And what happens is that people very easily when they're Westminster, either in party headquarters, or Number 10, or in Parliament, get in a bubble and you forget about why you're there - to serve the public and actually do the right thing.

“You just get wrapped up in your own thing, thinking you're invincible - it's similar with Partygate and these other kinds of things. It looks awful, because it is awful.

“It is trust across the board. What it does is it puts people off politicians, not just the Conservatives. At the moment it’s the Conservative Party, but it just puts people off politicians and getting involved in politics in the first place.

“If it's been shown that they had information and they used it for their own advantage, then that's not appropriate."

He went on: “It's another day we're not talking about taxation, we're not talking about cost of living, we're not talking about the economy. We're not talking about the things that actually matter to people on a day to day basis.

"There are conservative candidates up and down this country that are trying to do the right thing by their local constituencies. And I know having been in that position myself and I know how frustrating that is.

“I’ve been helping out some candidates and it is a frustration when they can't do their own job because they're being held to account about other people.

“I think the leadership is part of the problem. You see that not just from this issue but the rest of the campaign.”


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