Former Tory Chairman says members view ousting of Boris as ‘insanity’

Nadhim Zahawi says Boris Johnson won't make comeback as PM

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A former Tory Chairman has claimed party members look back on the ousting of Boris Johnson as an act of “insanity”. He added that the Conservatives must pursue a path that isn’t just popular among general Britons but also within the party membership itself.

Sir Jake Berry is an ally of Mr Johnson’s who received a knighthood in his resignation honours list, before serving as Tory Chairman during Liz Truss’s premiership – the shortest in British history.

He said it the party’s leadership ought to view declining membership as “a matter of deep concern”.

Sir Berry told the Telegraph: “If I think about my own members, in Rossendale, they are quite cross about the behaviour of MPs towards leaders of the Conservative Party.

“Starting off with the insanity of the defenestration of Boris Johnson, who is the best collateral asset that the Conservative Party has had for 100 years.”

Foreign policy analyst and former aide to Margaret Thatcher Nile Gardiner took rather the same view, insisting the party is already suffering as a result of Mr Johnson’s departure from office.

He wrote in a post on Twitter: “Ousting Boris Johnson was complete madness.

“The Conservatives are paying the price today.”

Reports suggest some members of the party now distrust Rishi Sunak, who they view as having ‘stabbed’ Mr Johnson in the back.

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He resigned from the former Prime Minister’s Cabinet in July, writing then that “we cannot continue like this”.

Sir Jake expressed his disappointment at Mr Sunak’s entry into Number 10.

He said that following what he described as the disappointment of members over the standing down of Mr Johnson: “Then going on to members pretty overwhelmingly selecting Liz Truss, really showing that the policies of low tax – the core Conservative policies – are still popular with our members.

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“And then the feeling that colleagues in Parliament moved against Liz Truss… to then Rishi being selected by MPs.”

The official claimed that the “perceived disenfranchisement of the membership” following Ms Truss’s downfall has made the task of increasing membership all the more difficult.

Self-proclaimed “sane Tory” Fiona-Natasha Syms, however, described Sir Jake as “bitter” and “disloyal”.

She wrote in a post on Twitter: “I’m delighted Boris (and Liz) are gone and we have Rishi.”

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