Public ‘right’ to vote Tories out – with party having ‘opportunity to regroup’, says ex-minister

UK

Former Tory cabinet minister Nadhim Zahawi has said the public was “right” to vote his party out of government, adding that now was the time to “regroup”.

Mr Zahawi, who stepped down ahead of the general election, told Sky News’ Sunday Morning With Trevor Phillips the results last week were “pretty catastrophic” for the Conservatives.

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The once dominant party have gone from 365 MPs to 121 following their worst-ever defeat, with many big beasts kicked out of parliament following Labour’s landslide victory.

Mr Zahawi said: “It is pretty catastrophic. To go from 365 MPs down to 121. That’s pretty shocking. But I do think that we have an opportunity to regroup.”

He said “serious talent” remained within the Conservative ranks and that he was “hopeful they will come together” and unite the party.

“For too many years, for far too long, we formed a circle, a firing squad and that is what the electorate saw,” he said. “And therefore they reacted and they reacted quite rightly by throwing us out of power.”

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Mr Zahawi would not go as far as naming who should lead the party, or who should not, saying the most important thing whoever comes forward “is they come forward with a plan of how to unite the party”.

However, in a sign he does not agree with calls to shift to the right, after the success of Reform UK, he said: “What we need to do is appeal to Reform voters and to Lib Dem voters.

“This idea that all we need to do is deal with the issues around Reform, immigration, migration is not enough.”

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