Tory MP Grant Shapps says Theresa May's policies 'don't add up to a row of beans'

Theresa May must deliver an overarching vision, says Grant Shapps

Theresa May was heavily criticised by her fellow Tories on the talkRADIO panel

Monday, October 2, 2017

A former co-chair of the Conservative Party has said Theresa May's policy portfolio "doesn't add up to a row of beans" during a live debate hosted by talkRADIO.

Grant Shapps was taking part in the debate, hosted by Julia Hartley-Brewer, alongside Environment Secretary Michael Gove and Katie Perrior, May's former communications director in Downing Street.

Shapps said that, while May's policies are individually well-planned and sensible, there is a "lack of vision" and this is allowing people like Boris Johnson to steal the limelight away from her.

May's policies, Shapps said, have to be "embedded within a cause, a vision" and the absence of this overarching thread means the Prime Minister's ideas fall flat when pitched to the public.

"Under Theresa May," Shapps said, "Conservative policies are all abstract, which doesn't add up to a row of beans." 

Gove, meanwhile, told the debate that the Tories' biggest challenge is to prove "we have policies that respond to the concerns Theresa encapsulated so perfectly when she was on the steps of Downing Street."

When Julia suggested the Tories' message was not getting through to the voter on the street, Gove replied "one of the tendencies all political parties sometimes have is to move from euphoria to despair without going through the intervening stage of calm.

"Slowly over the next four and a half years people will see changes being made that will reassure you that the country is being well-governed."

Perrior, who was part of May's core team before quitting earlier this year, praised her former boss for her achievements both as Prime Minister and Home Secretary.

As an example she cited Hillsborough, claiming that the families of those who died in the 1989 tragedy "would continually say 'it was Theresa May that got us that path to justice'."

The former spin doctor also said "the cult of Jeremy Corbyn will pass" and the Tories' popularity will improve.

However she added that the Tories' election campaign "got lost", and "we got carried away down a path and not sure where we ended up."

May, she said, was "not a natural media performer," and her latest policies on help-to-buy housing and tuition fees "didn't really inspire me."

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