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Horncastle Speech - Montgomery
Sir Jonathan Horncastle gives a speech to supporters and friends in Montgomery, Wales.
Friends, it doesn't take a genius to know that the Conservative Party has a problem. Not only are we down in the polls, but we are also still seen as the "Nasty Party", or as buffoons, or as an unruly mob that overthrows their leaders all the time. Our problem is an image problem. We have all the right things going for us to win a majority - but we need to change our image.
As the next leader of the party, I will seek to rehabilitate our image by showing through our actions that we are a party filled with MPs who care about our constituents. In my constituency in London, my constituents want to know about my thoughts and see me act on arts funding, preserving our national heritage, and building up our economy. However, here in Montgomery, the concerns I've heard that some issues that matter to you all local government spending, Welsh language schools, and this community's need for an urgent care unit.
MPs are elected primarily to serve and represent their constituencies and constituents. That's why, as leader of the Conservative Party, one of my goals is to work with every party MP to introduce and pass at least one bill that is constituency-focused. For example, my friend Alex, who just so happens to be your MP, might want to see the formation of a Welsh language school that can serve Powys. And working alongside me and a member of the Welsh Office, we'd get that bill introduced and passed. And I and my Cabinet would do that - with every Conservative Member of Parliament. We must be for the many, not the few. We must prove to this country that we care about everyone - not just those in the upper class or those that donate to us.
This idea is what spurred me to run for Party Leader. We have a great opportunity to change the fortunes of our party for the better. We're getting up to great work with the Liberal Democrats - and it would be an honor for me to work alongside Meredith or Tim to complete the work Dave and Nick left for us. I'm running because I love this country and it's time to reform the way our government works - to focus on the people across the country that make up this United Kingdom, and with your support, we can do just that. Thank you!
The Rt. Hon. Sir Jonathan Horncastle
Chief Whip (2014-Present)
Secretary of State for Transport and Infrastructure (2013-2014)
MP for Cities of London and Westminster (2001-Present)
Parliamentary Experience: Unknown (11)
Media Experience: Novice (22)
Policy Experience: Unknown (11)
Again, leadership campaigns have been and gone so we have a rough idea how things went. Horncastle was shown to have been most liked by the Tory membership - but also more disliked, which we can see led to this result. I think this speech kind of conveys why: sometimes parties need to learn tough lessons so they can gain majorities, but you need to win your party first to make that argument. People would have cheered you on and agreed, but it wasn't sugarcoated - in fact, for many Tories that aren't in your faction, this was salt in the wound. You did convey an interesting vision you had for the party, on a more positive note, but this was too short and brief to have done anything major.