MP Andrea Jenkyns says Rishi needs to get back to ‘more Conservative policies’

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Former Education Minister Andrea Jenkyns says the party needs to put more pressure on the Prime Minister to get back to more Conservative policies.

Speaking to Camilla Tominey on GB News, Jenkyns criticised net migration figures which are expected to more than doubled from pre-Brexit levels.

And Ms Jenkyns said she’d prefer to “see less of the Presidential flying around” and more focus on the domestic agenda.

She said: “I’m not saying he [Rishi Sunak] has socialist tendencies but clearly it feels at the moment that they are more left of the party than Thatcher-right conservatism which I support.

“I just think that as Conservatives we shouldn’t raise taxes and that we should deliver our manifesto commitments.

“It’s a tightrope at the moment and we don’t want to necessarily bring a leadership change because that will mean there will be a general election and we will end up with 100 seats the way polling is going at the moment.

“We can’t do political suicide over this at the moment, this is one where we need to put pressure on the Prime Minister to get back to more conservative type policies.

“And we must really get these net migration figures down and it’s disappointing that the Prime Minister is not committing to the target that was set in the manifesto. 

As the Prime Minister travelled to Japan for the G7 summit, he was asked three times whether he still stood by the manifesto pledge that “overall numbers will come” down. 

At the time of the 2019 election, net migration stood at just over 250,000 but figures set to be published next week, are expected to show the figure hit 700,000 people last year.

Sunak could only say he wanted to bring “down legal migration” and refused to say whether he was committed to lowering it from 2019 levels.

In the coming week, analysts expect new estimates from the Office for National Statistics to show net migration topping one million.

Jenkyns, who is an MP for Morley and Outwood, said: “We are walking a tightrope and clearly I’m not happy with the direction of the party at the moment.

“As we saw in the local elections, people were saying to me they don’t necessarily feel like Labour because we’ve got a socialist Government at the moment.

“That’s a dangerous place to be in because we remember what a socialist Government are like and especially if there is a coalition as well, we need to start having a lot more strength and commit to our manifesto.”

She added: “I would like to see less presidential style, flashy photo opportunities, walking out of planes and more delivering, I think that’s what we need to focus on as Conservatives.”

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