By Lord Cruddas.

Tory peer Lord Cruddas, who helped found the Conservative Democratic Organisation (CDO) for grassroots Tories, explains what is wrong with the party.

I recently heard Sir Geoffrey Cox KC MP (former Attorney General) say on the radio that if the Labour Party won the next election with something in the order of a 200-seat majority, then from a practical perspective, that would likely pose considerable difficulties for the Conservative Party in mustering sufficient matching shadow ministerial roles.

Such a large victory would be bad for democracy, he said. He added that the Conservative Party needed to show voters good conservative values and remind them why they should be elected again.

This is not singling out Sir Geoffrey. His comments are just the most recent iteration from senior members of the Conservative party which continue to ignore some basics. The basics being they are the cause of the current dire state of affairs.

Lord Cruddas is the President of CDO, fighting every day to promote a democratic party. Photo credit: CDO

History tells us that over millennia, civilisations, empires, governments and institutions fail from within.

History tells us that over millennia, civilisations, empires, governments and institutions fail from within.

Not that they may have not succumbed to some natural disaster or lost some major battle or other apparent external event but that they no longer had the resilience, fortitude, clarity of vision, drive and ambition to keep things together and keep going after the defining event. They had been hollowed out from within. They lacked leadership.

Since its original foundation in 1834 the Conservative Party has been one of the most successful political parties in the western world.

Its success was built on [generally] liberal economic policies, preferring free markets; deregulation; lower taxation; incentivising the public to aspire to improve themselves in many ways, but particularly in the education field (thereby affording independence and liberty of choice); expected the police and the civil servants to do what is expected of them i.e. their jobs, and adopted a social policy of a more conservative approach.

The latter though has given way over this last ten years or so to what some term as a more progressive social policy.

Propagated as being a good thing because it is expressed as being diverse, equitable and inclusive but it is anything but. It is inequitable, exclusive and highly destructive of harmony and creates a culture of victimhood both historic and current.

The liberal economic policies have given way to more state interference where frankly idiotic targets have been plucked from the air without a proper regard to the practical consequences of implementing a huge range of social and climate related issues and not even questioning whether they should be at all.

The role of a responsible government is to weigh up a range of competing pressure points on a subject and the issues it throws up, all based on a proper analysis of the competing information. This has been sadly lacking in so much of the legislation that has been coming out of the current government. They are not doing what they have been elected to do, to represent the people.

People up and down the country can see this clearly on social and climate issues but the government and other elected representatives don’t want to acknowledge this, as they think they know best. It is sheer arrogance. There is a bias and clear disconnect here between the people and many of their elected representatives which has only been getting bigger.

We have seen a Conservative Party (and a wider Parliament both lower and upper houses) actively working against the will of the people trying to stop and frustrate their Brexit vote.

We have seen a Conservative Party (and a wider Parliament both lower and upper houses) actively working against the will of the people trying to stop and frustrate their Brexit vote.

The sort of behaviour you would associate with a theocracy like Iran where the Council of Guardians decide if the laws in its parliament comply with their interpretation of Sharia law.

In the UK context you just need to substitute elected MPs effectively saying this piece of legislation doesn’t comply with my interpretation of certain values or even just my values regardless of what our manifesto said or a referendum result!

Quite shameful of Parliament – hardly democracy! But it isn’t the only example of, in effect, contempt for the people.

Again, we have exceptionally high levels of taxation contrary to principles we have set out in the manifesto. We have dysfunctional government departments, HMRC, The Land Registry, the Home Office etc and some with staff not wanting to come back into the office, or to work 4 days a week from home for the same money. All in a terrible state.

The police not enforcing some laws when they should and then enforcing some laws, particularly in relation to civil disobedience and highways interference in a way which unequivocally conveys a highly partisan approach.

Those responsible shouldn’t remain in the police.

There are also bodies some established by a conservative government, though some not, where the government has either divested itself of powers which they shouldn’t have or such bodies which they have established have an undue influence on the implementation of Government policy e.g. the OBR. It fudges implementation and also responsibility for failure to implement.

So, I would say two things to Sir Geoffrey and the senior members of the conservative party about their concerns of what a substantial labour majority could mean for democracy.

Firstly, the origins of this threat are within your own parliamentary party.

You all need to look into the mirror and be honest about who you are – hard as that might be. There are many current members of the conservative party who shouldn’t be there, including some ministers.

There are many current members of the conservative party who shouldn’t be there, including some ministers.

It is obvious that their natural home is in another party to the left. Quite simply they don’t represent conservative values. And the leaders or aspiring leaders of the Conservative Party need to understand that to try and pretend otherwise is at best disingenuous.

The people will know. No one so far in that cohort of leaders and aspiring leaders has remotely demonstrated either a proper sense of leadership in areas for which they are responsible by getting a grip on the departments they lead or have led.

Nor have they demonstrated any remotely close intellectual grasp of a big picture strategic view of what they need to get back to and how to build the messaging on that strategy.

For some that is because they are in the wrong political party.

The second thing I would say is if you don’t understand this and don’t demonstrate that you do and how you will change things then the public and in particular a great number who have voted Conservative over the years and especially so at the last election will tell you in the same terms as Sir Leopold Amery spoke to Chamberlain in 1940, quoting Oliver Cromwell, “You have sat too long here for any good you have been doing. Depart, I say, and let us have done with you”.

The history books will then have a final piece on the Conservative Party.

Lord Cruddas has been a party donor, is the President of the CDO and is a former Conservative Party Treasurer.


Calling Conservative Party Members: DESELECT YOUR MP (if they’re not being conservative enough).

If you are a Conservative Party member, you have more power than they want you to know about.

DID YOU KNOW? If 10% of an Association’s membership send in a letter of no confidence about their MP, we can start deselecting those Conservative MPs who aren’t actually being conservative. 

So for example, an Association with 150 members would only need 15 letters of no confidence to go in to call for a Special General Meeting.

For too long there have been concerns the Conservative Party’s candidates department have been weeding out actual centre-right conservatives and pushing liberal centrists. 

Let’s change that. It’s time to start flexing our muscles and steering our party back to proper conservatism. We want MPs who promote proper conservative values: free speech, free markets, free people, low taxes, small government, Brexit and Britain! Poll after poll show the country is also calling out for this. 

It doesn’t matter if your local Parliamentary Candidate has already been selected; a Special General Meeting has the power to change its mind. 

Members have told us the first ten MPs they want deselected are as follows:

If you are a member of one of the above associations please send in your letter now. 

The letter you need to send:

Copy and paste the following letter (with your name and association details added) and send it off to your local association. Please also copy in so we can keep a tally of how many letters are going in to each Association.

Dear Chairman,

I am writing to request a Special General Meeting to consider the following motion:

“That this meeting of members of the XXXXX Conservative Association / Federation does not confirm the selection and adoption of XXXXX as the Prospective Parliamentary Candidate for the XXXXX Constituency.”

I can confirm the above motion uses wording similar to that used by CCHQ themselves for a similar motion that members voted upon elsewhere, proving that the motion is valid and that the precedence of a confirmatory vote of members has been set.

I believe we should immediately start the process of selecting a new Prospective Parliamentary Candidate.

Yours sincerely, XXXXX

Constitution Guidance For Your Information:

The following guidance applies to the Conservative & Unionist Party, and is a democratic way for local members to take an element of control over local selections for Parliamentary Candidates. 

Under clause 10.1.2 of Schedule 7 of the Conservative Party’s constitution, a Special General Meeting of an Association or Federation can be called by a petition signed by not less than fifty members of the Association or 10% of the current qualifying membership of the Association (whichever is less) sent to the Secretary of the Executive Council of the Association requesting them to convene such a meeting. If there is no Secretary in post, it can be sent to the Chairman or Chairwoman. Local party members can do this by sending an email, either one-by-one or by using a ’round robin’ format. A printed version with physical signatures can also be presented.

The motion being put to the meeting allows members to choose if they back their Parliamentary Candidate by voting for or against the motion as they see fit. If the motion is passed then the Association would have to consider the role of Parliamentary Candidate as vacant.

Let’s make sure we support actual conservatives who believe in conservative values and deselect those that don’t. People Power!

Photo credits: UK GOV – Licence CC BY 4.0 Deed | Attribution 4.0 International


  1. How much longer are we having a weak leader?!
    When’s a good strong team come to government, before Angela Rayner gets in and cronies.
    OK guys what we doing about this.! Please please.

    • Some people are saying that the Conservative government and Labour are the same. Not so. It is that Starmer and the Labour Party has moved to the right, and are replicating our policies.

      That is because Starmer has no principles. He has one objective: Moving into Number 10. He will jettison any policy which holds him back in the opinion polls. He would drive over his own grandmother if it would help.

      The obvious point is that if he has only one goal, what policies will he pursue if he gains power?

      What is happening in the Conservative Party is a replica of what happened between 1992 and losing the election in 1997, Lorna. History teaches the Conservative Party that history teaches it nothing.

      A leader can only lead if people are prepared to be led. Too many egos with little ability mean Rishi can’t lead as he may wish.

      When I voted in the leadership contest, after 6 weeks intending to vote for Liz Truss I voted for Rishi because the penny finally dropped that she had no idea what would happen if she implemented her policies.

      Some say they would have worked if she had been given more time. When I ask how much loss by doing so was acceptable, I get no answer.

      i voted for Rishi in the belief that he would have performed a miracle if Labour only had a majority of 100 over us at the next election


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