ESTHER MCVEY became the first Tory leadership candidate to back a No Deal Brexit as she labelled Nigel Farage a “tour de force”.
The ex-Cabinet Minister set the bar for the upcoming contest by saying Britain had to leave the EU by October 31 – whatever the circumstances.
Rex Features Esther McVey becomes the first Tory battling for leadership to back a No Deal Brexit
Speaking in Westminster, she said: “No more backsliding – and if that means without a deal, we’ll be out.”
It came as the former GMTV presenter also called for the overseas aid budget to be slashed by £7billion to free up money for the police, teachers and the prison service.
Courting fellow Eurosceptics, she said it was clear why so many Conservative Party voters are preparing to switch to the Brexit Party this Thursday.
She said: “Nigel Farage is a tour de force, he’s changed the narrative.
“As a Conservative party, we know we haven’t delivered the Brexit that we had in our manifesto.
“This is why our Conservatives voters are so upset.
“And that is why it is so essential that we take back control of the negotiations, that we get it delivered, then we can move on and those people, if we have delivered it for them, and we have their trust, they will come back to us.”
The former Pensions Secretary – who is heading a new ‘Blue Collar Conservatism’ grouping – added that whoever replaces Theresa May should be a “believer in Brexit”.
‘SOMEBODY WHO BELIEVES’
Appearing to rule out ‘converted Remainers’ Jeremy Hunt and Sajid Javid she said: “Whatever they voted, they can tell you, but it has to be somebody who believes, who’s got the passion to drive it forward.”
Ms McVey’s pledge to spend more on the police and schools marks another hammer blow to Theresa May’s record in No.10.
Mrs May vowed to serve the ‘just about managing’ and ‘strivers’ on taking over in 2016.
But Ms McVey said voters were desperate to see more police on the streets and teachers were “crying out” for more money.
Under her plans the overseas aid budget would be taken back to 2010 levels to free up £4 billion for schools and £3 billion for the police.
Scott Mann, a fellow Tory Brexiteer at the launch, said that the Conservative Party was currently a “million miles” away from meeting the needs of the working class.
Introducing McVey, the former Tory vice chair Ben Bradley said the Tories had to reconnect with places like his Mansfield constituency.
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He said: “The kind of community that’s felt left behind by governments, that’s felt it’s had things done to it rather than it’s genuinely had a say.”
He added: “So many people in those traditional working-class communities are naturally Conservative.
“Highly unionised industries, emotional and political history around coalfields or factory closure led them to vote Labour, but they aren’t socialists.”
Alamy Live News McVey said foreign aid should be cut by £7billion and for the cash to be spent on police and schools
Top Brexiteer Esther McVey reveals she’s running to be the next PM