Writing in the Observer, the former Conservative cabinet minister, Dominic Grieve, ex-foreign office minister Alistair Burt and former transport minister Claire Perry, along with education select committee chair Neil Carmichael and Bath MP Ben Howlett, say the Richmond outcome must serve as a wake-up call to the prime minister.
“The Conservative party needs to be alert that there is a moderate core of Conservative voters, who voted Remain, and who want to hear the Conservative government speaking above the noise of the Brexiters,” they say. “They do not want the Conservative party to be Ukip-lite, nor to hear that their desire for a negotiated Brexit … is somehow an attempt to delay or simply an expression of Remoaning.
“They want the Conservative leadership to speak for them, too, and Richmond may be a reminder that their votes have another destination if we don’t get this right. That moderate voice is crucial for the party to keep the votes of the middle ground who could lose the Conservative party the next election if they take their votes elsewhere.”
Moderate Tories (like me) should not be taken for granted by Theresa May.