Posted by Sam Fenny - Memes and headline comments by David Icke Posted on 2 July 2024

It was meant to be, mate. Aren’t you getting it yet? Senior Tory criticises ‘worst campaign in my lifetime’ as frustration grows

Recriminations have begun to fly around the Conservatives as a senior figure called the last few weeks the “worst campaign in my lifetime” and criticised the party for failing to tackle the threat from Reform.

Rishi Sunak started the week with warnings against handing Labour a “supermajority” and a “blank cheque” and claimed a vote for Reform would hand more power to Keir Starmer.

However, a number of Tory candidates, advisers and officials are deeply frustrated with how he has run the campaign after calling a July election against the advice of his key strategist Isaac Levido.

One senior Tory party figure said on Monday it had been the “worst campaign in my lifetime”, saying that while Sunak was wholly to blame for the early election, there was a feeling that Levido could have pushed back more against the July date and that Conservative HQ should have “taken the fight to Reform” earlier.

They said Levido had made it clear from the start that 2019 Tory switchers from Labour were “gone and never coming back”, telling candidates that all their efforts should be made to target potential Reform voters instead.

However, the source said some people around the cabinet table had argued that the Tories should just ignore Nigel Farage’s party, and the campaign had been too frightened to tackle Reform’s arguments head-on for fear of offending voters who sympathised with them.

The senior figure said the mood among many Tory candidates was that it was “tough out there”, while those whose seats were less difficult were “focusing on what’s left and what’s next” – a new Conservative leadership battle.

They also said candidates in tight marginal seats were getting zero financial or practical support, even on social media, and there was frustration that Conservative HQ had either overspent in the run-up to the election or wrongly thought it would get a last-minute deluge of funding.

There is also suspicion among some Tory candidates that CCHQ could be holding back some funding to rebuild the party after an election defeat rather than going all-out on defending candidates.

Many Conservative candidates are upset that they do not feel as supported by CCHQ as they were in 2019, with top party figures and cabinet ministers having to spend time defending or winning their own seats rather than on national strategy.

One Tory candidate defending a majority of more than 10,000 in the south-east said they had had to raise all their own funding for their local campaign and felt it would be “very tight” against the Liberal Democrats.

Another contrasted their local campaign with the national one. “The local party has been really efficient at identifying the messages that resonate and getting leaflets out to the right people,” they said. “As for the national campaign, well, I know all campaigns have mistakes but I’ve never seen anything like this.”

One senior Tory claimed the only message that was resonating with the party’s voters was the line that failing to vote Conservative would hand Labour a supermajority on Thursday. They pointed out that the warning had been made largely off-the-cuff during a broadcast interview with Grant Shapps, the defence secretary, rather than as part of the prime minister’s strategy.

In an interview with the Times, Starmer said such a majority would allow Labour to “roll up our sleeves and get on with the change we need”, saying the party needs a strong mandate to make changes the “whole country” wants.

At a rally in Oxfordshire on Tuesday, Sunak will appeal to wavering voters to lend him their support to stop Labour winning by a huge margin, saying the result is “not a foregone conclusion”.

“If just 130,000 people switch their vote and lend us their support, we can deny Starmer that supermajority,” he will say. “Just think about that: you have the power to use your vote to prevent an unchecked Labour government.”

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