‘We won’t keep those voters’ Tory MPs fear Red Wall revolt on Boris Johnsons green agenda

Boris Johnson facing 'disappointed' red wall MPs says Watt

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The Sun has published tetchy WhatsApp messages from Tory MPs in response to the Prime Minister’s climate change policies. A group chat of Conservative MPs, including four elected in Boris Johnson’s 2019 landslide, discussed polling data which suggested Tory voters will be the hardest hit by the green revolution.

Lee Anderson, the MP for Ashfield in Nottinghamshire, said: “This will not go down well in Red Wall seats at all.”

Brendan Clarke-Smith, who represents constituents just 28 miles away from Anderson in Bassetlaw, reportedly texted: “It’s a hard sell asking people to make sacrifices when the rest of the world, China/Russia etc, are carrying on as usual.”

The 40-year-old MP who succeeded the Brexit-backing Labour MP John Mann added: “Germany also having twice as many emissions as us I believe.”

In the 2019 General Election, CCHQ and political pundits focused their efforts on the seat of Workington in Cumbria.

The constituency’s Conservative MP, Mark Jenkinson, was also frustrated by the Government’s “ultra-parochial” position on net zero.

And it was not only Red Wall MPs who voiced their frustrations.

Jackie Doyle-Price, the MP for the once Labour-Tory marginal of Thurrock in Essex, said: “The reason we have won Red Wall seats is because Labour has been losing working class voters over decades as the party has become increasingly metropolitan.”

The former minister warned: “We won’t keep those voters if they see us behaving in the same way.”

The poll indicated that 44 percent of car-owners vote for the Conservative Party.

Amongst those who drive diesel cars, which alongside new diesel cars are set to be banned in 2030, the proportion rises to 47 percent.

In contrast, the poll found that Labour performed far better with those driving electric cars.

Almost seven in ten electric car drivers support Sir Keir Starmer’s party.

Despite this, YouGov has found British voters now consider the environment as the third most important issue facing the UK.

Although there are geographical and political differences, the pollsters still found the environment has risen up the agenda in the eyes of many voters.

In the North of England and the Midlands, the environment is now the fourth and third most important issue respectively.

And while Labour supporters and Remain voters are more likely to consider it one of the two most pressing issues, Brexit-backers and Tory voters rank the environment in fourth – above Britain’s relationship with the European Union, education and pensions.

The Prime Minister has said he hopes Britain will reach net zero by 2050.

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The UK looks set to unveil more of its climate policies in the build-up to November’s COP26 climate change summit in Glasgow.

In a press conference on Monday, Richard Tice from Reform UK attacked the Tories for not offering a conservative economic message.

He told journalists: “We are the only party that will stand on a platform of cutting taxes for the least well off, for smarter businesses and the self-employed, the only party that will stand against this Government’s mad plan to ban all of our boilers.”

This comes after the Prime Minister came under fire in the Red Wall for a gaff when he told reporters: “Thanks to Margaret Thatcher, who closed so many coal mines across the country, we had a big early start and we’re now moving rapidly away from coal altogether.”

“I thought that would get you going,” he reportedly chuckled.

In the 2019 General Election, many ex-mining towns, including Bolsover and Don Valley, voted Conservative for the first time since their seat was created.

Martin Daubney, a former Brexit Party MEP who has recently been elevated to the position of deputy leader of Laurence Fox’s Reclaim Party, said the Prime Minister’s comment was “profound, hurtful and numbskulled”.

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