Hereford MP Jesse Norman: ‘disastrous trends’ led to Tory defeat

“The national mood was Anyone But the Tories,” he wrote on Twitter.

“The scale of last Thursday’s defeat now demands careful review by the Conservative Party,” he said.


The Conservatives went from 365 seats from nearly 14 million votes when under Boris Johnson’s leadership at the 2019 election, to 121 seats and fewer than seven million votes.

A key part of the Tories’ decline over this period has been “an unwillingness by successive Prime Ministers to acknowledge the realities of the British Constitution: the laws, traditions and customs that make up the ‘rules of the game’”, he said.

This has led to “contempt for cabinet government, and a disastrous trend towards the centralisation and personalisation of power”, with “huge decisions taken by cabal and without cabinet consultation”.

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“Major policies have been launched without taking adequate advice or entertaining any serious prior challenge, with ministers left in the dark until the last minute,” he wrote.

“And this whole approach has reflected an underlying condescension towards ordinary citizens, as though they could not see or suspect what was going on.”

Local Labour supporter Sue White responded: “Clap trap.

“You lost not because you didn’t follow archaic institutional rules. You lost because you did what you always do, forget that government is about service to country and community and not filling your own coffers. People are cynical about politics because of you.”

To which Mr Norman replied: “I think you may have misunderstood my point. Luckily many of my constituents don’t seem to be cynical about me, however mortified they are about politics and parties in general.”

Mr Norman had previously been a long-term supporter of Mr Johnson, but published a letter of no confidence in his premiership in June 2022, accusing him of “trying to import elements of a presidential system of government”.

Mr Johnson resigned the following month, to be succeeded by Liz Truss.

Mr Norman resigned his most recent government position as transport minister last November in order to have “more freedom to campaign on crucial local and national issues”.

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