George Osborne praising Robert Halfon’s campaign for cheaper fuel.
I’ve always thought the next leader would be someone associated with George Osborne, he declined to run in 2005 and he probably will not enter the next Tory leadership election, and prefers to be the Ã©minence griseÂ for another Tory leader. Sajid Javid seemed to be best placed in such a scenario, but perhaps, there is another, the man who was Osborne’s Parliamentary Private Secretary prior to the election,Â Robert Halfon, who must be one of the very few Tory MPs to be a member of a trade union.
Some of Halfon’s policies are the sort you don’t normally associate with the Tory party, in 2012, he wrote a pamphlet entitled “Stop the union-bashing” where he “set[s] out to debunk the myths and misunderstandings about the relationship between the Conservative party and trade unions and conclude[d] that the two could become ‘soulmates.’Â In 2013 he talked what sounded like the language of Ed Miliband by talking about a windfall tax on energy companies who he saw as charging too much to their customers.
A few days ago he talked about his boldest idea
Robert Halfon, the MP for Harlow, has saidÂ the Conservative party should change its name to The Workers’ Party. He told the Sun the party had â€œan incredible opportunityâ€ to claim the mantle of championing workers’ rights from Labour, andÂ turn the party into â€œthe modern trade union movement for working peopleâ€. Their tree logo â€“ which replaced the older torch â€“ could now be exchanged for a ladder, he suggested.
â€œWe are the party of the ladder, it was Churchill who first said that,â€ said Halfon. â€œThe ladder symbolises everything weâ€™re about . . . Itâ€™s not just leaving people to climb up it themselves, we hold that ladder for them. Labour on the other hand are the party of dependency and the welfare state, and thatâ€™s why they didnâ€™t get in.â€
He added: â€œWhen we knock on peopleâ€™s doors, I want people to know we are on their side â€“ on the side of the workers, that we are the workers.Â The Labour Party have demonised us, and unsuccessfully as it turned out â€“ as 11 and a half million people still voted for us.â€
He’s also a very good campaigner, in 2013, he cost the Treasury 1 billion pounds, with his campaign on lower fuel duty,Â Â Halfon also has the advantage of being recently appointed Deputy Chairman of the Tory Party, which should give him regular unfettered access to Tory activists and members, who ultimately have the final say on who will be the next Tory leader. He also has an interesting way of campaigning as this video shows, which explains his increased majority.
One of the perceptions for the current Tory party is that they are out of touch with most voters due to their backgrounds, electing Robert Halfon would repudiate that line instantly given his background and make it difficult for the opposition parties to attack Halfon in the same way they’ve been attacking the current leadership of the Tory party.
It will be very hard to attack someone who is the son of immigrants, a trade unionist with a disability, non Oxbridge educated guy as an out of touch Tory, especially in light of some of the policy platforms he has set out.
At the time of writing, only four bookies have odds on Robert Halfon as next Tory leader, with Ladbrokes offering the best price of 50/1.