Lord Frost sets out his red lines for next Tory leader: No return to Cameron-Osborne

Red Wall voters rage at Boris Johnson ousting

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It comes as Downing Street said outgoing Prime Minister Boris Johnson will not step aside to allow Dominic Raab to become caretaker PM. There had been calls by some Conservatives to install Mr Raab as a caretaker premier until a permanent successor is in place to run the country and Conservative Party.

Lord Frost, who was Mr Johnson’s chief negotiator for exiting the EU, said in order to put the Tories on the right track a successful leader will need to protect Brexit.

He said: “There can be no return to the EU customs union or single market, while the [Northern Ireland] Protocol issue must be resolved so as to put Northern Ireland firmly, durably and fully within the UK.

“There must also be radical change to inherited EU law. No candidate who is not completely committed to Britain’s independent future can be party leader nowadays.”

Lord Frost, writing in The Telegraph, also called on the new leader to reverse planned tax rises and those already in place.

He also called for “pointless projects” such as HS2 to be junked, an energy policy to deliver security of supply and a rethink over the Online Safety Bill.

On immigration, he said: “[W]e must control immigration, and that means reducing numbers. The Rwanda plan has to be delivered, if necessary by derogating from parts of the European Convention on Human Rights.”

His final demand is to “get a proper grip” on the “pernicious politics of identity and group rights” and clamp down on the “weirder excesses of the trans movement”.

Lord Frost said: “Boris Johnson stood for something new. His failure in the end to deliver it – with the very important exception of Brexit – does not make that project mistaken.

“The right answer to the party’s problems is not to go back to the pre-2016 era of Cameron-Osborne-Cleggism and that specific mix of economic and social liberalism, globalisation, and the erosion of the nation state.”

He added that doing so might feel comfortable to many but it would not keep Tory supporters on side and it will not win the party an election.

Lord Frost’s comments came as polling guru Sir John Curtice warned the Tories’ next leader would have a substantial challenge ahead with the party now associated with chaos and ineffective government.

He told the same publication: “The electoral challenge facing the next Conservative leader will be a substantial one. The challenge facing a new leader will be to persuade voters they do not just have a new Prime Minister but also a Conservative Party in which they can have faith once more.”

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So far only two MPs have officially declared their intention to stand for the leadership – Suella Braverman and Tom Tugendhat.

It is believed there are more than a dozen seriously interested in running, with former Chancellor Rishi Sunak, Foreign Secretary Liz Truss and Defence Secretary Ben Wallace considered by some as front runners.

Jeremy Hunt is also highly likely to announce his bid to become the next Conservative leader in the coming days.

A source close to the senior Tory MP, who ran for the leadership in 2019, said he was “virtually certain” to enter the contest to replace Mr Johnson.

The source said: “For months he has been pressed by colleagues on all wings of the party.”

They also claimed Mr Hunt was receiving “mounting support” from within the party.

Mr Sunak is expected to pitch himself as a “serious candidate for a serious time” in the leadership race.

The Times reported on Friday that Mr Sunak will argue only he can salvage the Conservative Party’s “brand” and that he has the experience to handle Britain’s economic crisis.

Meanwhile, opponents of Mr Johnson continue to demand he leaves office before a replacement is found.

Mr Johnson told his cabinet team of top ministers he would not be making any big changes of direction which would tie the hands of his successor.

Number 10 has confirmed a Home Office agreement to send migrants to Rwanda remains, suggesting attempts to once again get the first deportation flight off the ground could be made before a legal challenge against the policy is due to be heard on July 19.

Asked whether the Government would move ahead with the plan, even in the face of court battles, the Prime Minister’s official spokesman said: “This is a pre-agreed Government policy.

“Convention doesn’t prevent or preclude government from seeking to fulfil that policy and that would include defending cases in court as required.”

The spokesman said it is possible flights taking asylum seekers to the east African country could depart before a judicial review.

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