News from Grassroots conservatives
30 May 2014
Dear Prime Minister,
I write to you as chairman of Grassroots Conservatives. We represent not only current party members, but also those Conservatives who have resigned from the party due to significant disagreement over the direction the leadership has been taking without due consultation over some key issues. Some have been so disaffected they will not campaign for you and may even not vote at all in the 2015 election. However, many would support the party again if sufficient changes were made.
We have serious concerns about the party’s electoral prospects in the 2015 general election due to your government’s unsatisfactory policy on Britain’s relationship with the European Union (EU) and other issues.
The 2014 European election results were disastrous and avoidable for the Party.
The United Kingdom Independence Party (UKIP) has swallowed up an overwhelming number of our supporters over the last four years for a number of reasons.
One of the most common grievances amongst party members who have switched support to UKIP is the leadership’s insistence on redefining marriage, despite our numerous warnings, and your lack of adequate support for married couples and ordinary families.
We continue to advocate important changes to the Same Sex Marriage Legislation to be enacted at the earliest opportunity and certainly reflected in the 2015 Conservative Party Manifesto. Conscience clauses should provide reasonable accommodation for teachers and registrars in the public sector and for all Churches (not just the C of E) and other faiths which oppose SSM on religious or moral grounds.
Other prominent reasons for reduced grassroots support include your refusal to amend plans for high speed rail, despite what was promised before the 2010 election, severe cuts to the armed forces budget and major deficiencies in the overseas aid budget. Aid should go to those deserving of it, not to corrupt regimes or nuclear states.
In addition, Britain’s relationship with the EU is a serious concern for so many Conservatives. Immigration from EU Member States is out of control and your Government appears powerless to stop unrestricted migration from these countries.
The European election results emphatically prove that the Conservative Party is haemorrhaging voters to UKIP because, to many people, the leadership does not offer sufficient clarity on the future of Britain’s EU membership.
The outlook for the 2015 general election for our party is currently unnecessarily bleak. This can be rectified not only by directly addressing the threat posed by UKIP but also by winning back the support of former loyal Conservatives.
The Conservative Party is at present committed to an EU referendum in 2017 after Britain’s relationship is renegotiated. But If you seek renegotiation the changes to be sought must be clear . With respect your current seven point plan is at best, vague.
We therefore urge you, before the 2015 general election, firstly, to clarify in detail
a. what a radical renegotiation of our relationship with the EU looks like, including Britain regaining sovereignty over its immigration policy and
b. a commitment to this country that if you fail radically to reform Britain’s relationship with the EU, you will support a British exit in the 2017 referendum.
Such actions would win back the support of many disaffected supporters. You would prove you are serious about changing Britain’s fundamental relationship with the EU. It is our only chance of remaining in government.
We are Conservatives because we firmly believe that a return to Conservative core values would make Britain a more prosperous and healthy society. As committed Grassroots Conservatives we want the party to win the 2015 general election.
You are well aware that people believe that UKIP will be the only party that is serious about revisiting the relationship with Europe. This will continue to divide the Conservative vote unless we are seen to be as serious about this issue.
If we fail to show commitment to fundamental change in our relationship with Brussels, the Conservative vote will continue to be divided and the party could be banished to the opposition benches for a considerable period .
We present this course of action to you as vital to winning the next General Election
Chairman, Grassroots Conservatives
21 High Street, Eynsham, OX29 4HE