THURROCK MP, Jackie Doyle-Price has hit out against the “old boys’ network” dominating the Tories reports politics.co.uk.
The outspoken MP appears to have targeted speculation around Boris Johnson’s leadership prospects but the article may also have more to do with Doyle-Price’s career prospects post-2015.
Ms Doyle-Price said: “The first thing to note is that the leadership of the party is not a bauble to be passed around the old boys network,” she wrote in ConservativeHome.
“The party will decide who the next leader is. Not Stanley Johnson and not the media commentariat who are obsessed about whether Boris is about to return to the House of Commons or not.
“Out there nobody cares about the ambitions of Boris Johnson. They care about whether they can put food on the table and still be able to afford to take the kids away on a decent holiday.”
Doyle-Price said the Conservatives’ failure to get above the 36% vote share the Tories won in 2010 was down to the party’s inability to connect with ordinary people.
Her fears reflect the concerns of many Conservative MPs worrying about whether they will save their seat in 2015 that the party will struggle to retain its position as the largest party in the Commons, let alone achieve an overall majority.
“While people are worrying about whether they are keeping their jobs, whether they will be able to afford the electricity bill and how much it costs to fill the car these days, our commentariat is talking about Boris,” she added.
“We need to stop talking about ourselves and talk about the things that really matter to people. Otherwise we will be seen as out of touch, and Labour’s message will resonate.”
There are reports that Education secretary Michael Gove received something of a telling-off from David Cameron after he complained the prime minister’s inner circle contained a “ridiculous” and “preposterous” number of Old Etonians.
However, Doyle-Price is an admirer of Mr Gove as is her friend, Foreign Office minister Sayeeda Warsi, who last week produced a mock newspaper headline stating ‘NUMBER 10 TAKES ETON MESS OFF THE MENU’.