Sunak reveals election success blueprint and declares he’s ‘on Britons’ side’

Rishi Sunak says his “ambition for Britain is boundless” – as Tory MPs remain confident a tax-cutting agenda can put the party back on the road to election success.

The Prime Minister is sure he can win back the trust of the public ahead of next year’s poll to “propel us to victory”.

Writing for the Sunday Express, Mr Sunak said holding on to Boris Johnson’s old seat of Uxbridge and South Ruislip showed “when there’s a clear choice between the Conservatives’ priorities and Labour’s, people vote Conservative”.

And striking an upbeat note, he said: “My ambition for what I want to achieve for people has no limit. That’s why I set ambitious priorities and a bold plan and I’ll strain every sinew to meet them.”

And he pledged to earn “back the trust of those voters who did not support us at these elections”.

READ MORE: Rishi Sunak: All isn’t lost! Next election is ‘not a done deal’

There is excitement among Conservatives after Labour failed to win in Uxbridge.

Leader Sir Keir Starmer has blamed the defeat on Mayor of London Sadiq Khan’s “Ulez” plan to make motorists of more polluting vehicles pay £12.50 a day to drive in the capital.

Senior Tories say this shows people will back them if they pledge to cut the cost of living.

And Conservatives are now pushing for more action to slash energy bills and end to the BBC licence fee.

Jonathan Gullis, one of the highest profile “red wall” MPs, said the party had to make brave decisions to set it apart from Labour and deliver on “the type of things that people want”.

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He said: “That includes scrapping the licence fee, withdrawing from the European Convention on Human Rights, removing green levies on energy bills, potentially cutting VAT off fuel.

“These are exactly the type of things the people want to see.

“It will certainly help with people’s cost of living and can still win us the next general election.”

Former Home Office minister Sir Mike Penning said: “Don’t write us off. We are the most successful political party the world has ever seen and there’s a reason for that.”

And a Conservative minister admitted: “We’ve been blown away by the Uxbridge result.”

Tory peer and respected election expert Lord Hayward said Steve Tuckwell’s 495-vote majority had taken the “gloss” off Labour’s win in Selby.

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And he added the unpopular Ulez expansion would affect people such as white van drivers, taxi drivers and care workers who live marginal seats on the borders of London and travel into the capital for work.

But there was a warning from former Tory leader Sir Iain Duncan Smith.

He said the Conservatives needed to “hold out the promise of real change” and offer a real alternative to Labour’s policies.

He cautioned: “They can’t just drift into the next election thinking, ‘You’re all the same’.”

The success in Mr Johnson’s former constituency contrasts with disastrous results in last week’s two other by-elections.

The Tories were ousted from the once safe seats of Selby and Aintsy by Labour and from Somerton and Frome by the Liberal Democrats.

A former cabinet minister on the right of the party warned: “The eye-watering swings show there needs to be a complete change of direction. We should be cutting taxes, reducing the size of government, reining in Whitehall and delaying Net Zero.

“Uxbridge provides no get-out-of-jail-free card for Rishi. The result there shows that when we are Conservative – cutting taxes and opposing new regulations like Ulez – we are popular.”

Pushing for a bold reshuffle, the senior Tory made the case for ejecting Chancellor Jeremy Hunt and Levelling Up Secretary Michael Gove from the cabinet.

They said: “Tired ministers responsible for the Government’s failing social democratic policy agenda like Gove and Hunt need to be replaced by Conservatives like Priti Patel and Jacob Rees-Mogg.

“It is becoming increasingly clear that a failure by the party leadership to act now and change course risks electoral Armageddon for the party at the next election.”

Sir Jacob, former transport minister Karl McCartney and backbench Conservatives including Craig Mackinlay are backing an amendment to the Government’s Energy Bill which would require the Secretary of State to “ensure the lowest possible costs of energy to businesses and households”.

Former security minister Sir John Hayes believes that green policies that would add to living costs will be rejected by voters. He said: “The sort of policies that Sadiq Khan has adopted, zealous climatist policies, where they impact on people’s wellbeing are electoral suicide.”

A former minister also attacked measures to get Britain’s carbon emissions down to “net zero” by 2050. They said: “In my constituency they don’t care about that. They just want to be able to afford to pay the bills.”

Tory MP Lia Nici, a former aide to Mr Johnson, is confident the election can be won if the Government addresses the priorities of voters who handed the Conservatives their 2019 majority. She said: “As I said to the Prime Minster when he took office, ‘Ignore the red wall at your peril.’”

PM’s message to Sunday Express readers

“The victory in Uxbridge and South Ruislip is thanks to the dedication of scores of brilliant Conservative activists and our great new MP Steve Tuckwell.

“But it’s also demonstrates when there’s a clear choice between the Conservatives’ priorities and Labour’s, people vote Conservative.

“That’s because our priorities – halving inflation, growing the economy, reducing debt, cutting the waiting lists and stopping the boats – are the people’s priorities.

“And come the next election, the public will see that our plans for a more innovative economy, stronger communities and world-class education are about creating a brighter future for our children and grandchildren.

“My ambition for Britain is boundless. My ambition for what I want to achieve for people has no limit. That’s why I set ambitious priorities and a bold plan and I’ll strain every sinew to meet them.

“Already the Conservatives are delivering on multiple fronts: introducing the toughest ever laws to stop the boats; turning the tide on inflation; leading the world on AI safety; launching a long-term NHS workforce plan to train hundreds of new doctors and nurses; cracking down on anti-social behaviour and fraud; seizing our Brexit freedoms; and boosting children’s literacy to the best in the western world – to name but a few.

“Over the coming months and into next year I will continue to focus all my efforts on doing the right thing by the country – sticking to our plan and earning back the trust of those voters who did not support us at these elections.

“We will show the British people we are on their side and that is what will propel us to victory in the general election to come.”

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