Theresa May is reportedly planning to rebrand the Conservative party after the inconclusive general election result and internal polling indicating the party is not seen as caring enough.
According to reports, Tory MPs were invited to Number 10 by the Prime Minister’s chief of staff, Gavin Barwell, and told about seven priorities for “Building a Britain fit for the future”.
With a focus on the environment and animal welfare, the principles will also include housing, schools, a balanced approach to public spending and tackling injustices – something Ms May pledged to combat when first becoming Prime Minister.
In the Downing Street briefing backbench MPs were also told that internal polling indicated the party came across as “not caring enough”, according to the Daily Mail.
The new message also has echoes of Ms May’s denunciation of the party’s image to the 2002 Conservative party conference in Bournemouth.
Then the chairwoman of the party, she told a stunned audience: “There’s a lot we need to do in this party of ours. Our base is too narrow and so, occasionally, are our sympathies, you know what some people call us: the nasty party.”
The Guardian added that the briefing document provided to Tory MP stated:“Underpinning all of this is our commitment to protect our environment so we leave our planet in a better state than we found it.
“By delivering on all of this, we can create a country with a stronger economy and a fairer society, one that will guarantee a better future for the next generation”.
During the general election the party also caused considerable outrage on animal welfare issues after the Prime Minister pledged to hold a free vote on repealing the fox hunting ban – a policy the party dropped after the inconclusive general election.
The Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn capitalised on the proposal and described fox hunting as a “barbarity”, pledging to keep blood sports banned on animal welfare grounds.
A poll on the policy – released during the election campaign – found that 67 per cent of voters believed fox hunting should remain banned. Half of all voters added that they would feel so strongly about fox hunting that a candidate’s stance backing the policy would put them off voting for them.
And since then Ms May’s party has been forced into a U-turn over its flagship welfare policy – universal credit – after claims it was having damaging effects on some of the most disadvantaged people in Britain.