Tory audience erupts as Lee Anderson slaps down claims Brexit is failing
Lee Anderson rebuffs claim ‘Brexit has failed’
Lee Anderson today denied claims Brexit is failing as he mocked doom-mongers and naysayers.
The Tory deputy chairman was speaking at a fringe event at the party’s conference in Manchester hosted by Conservative Home and UK In A Changing Europe.
Asked why Leave voters think Brexit has failed, he said: “That’s not true, you’re just making that up. I’m not listening to that nonsense.
“Yes of course it’s working. We were promised by the Remoaners that once we voted to leave that the sun would stop shining, all the car plants would close down and this and that and it’s not.
“We are one of the fastest-growing economies now, we’re doing pretty well post-Covid. So if I went out and got knocked over today on this high street you can bet your bottom dollar a Remoaner would say to me that’s because of Brexit.”
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Mr Anderson’s comments prompted laughter and claps from Tory delegates at the packed event.
Pressed on whether he was satisfied the Government had done all it can to seize Brexit opportunities, the Ashfield MP pointed to the Covid pandemic.
He said: “To be fair to Boris, he didn’t have a fair run at it. We’re two years behind on delivering what we promised to deliver.
“But I think now we’re on right track, Rishi’s only been in post for a year, I think he’s doing alright, I think he’s doing well. It’s still the best country in the world.”
Mr Anderson, a former coal miner and Labour member, was also optimistic about the Tories’ chances at the next general election, expected in 2024.
He pointed to Rishi Sunak’s overhaul of green measures and Suella Braverman’s speech on migration in the US last week.
Mr Anderson said: “There are a lot of people who voted Conservative for the first time and are looking for an excuse to vote Conservative next time it’s as simple as that.
“And it’s very hopeful for me over the past few weeks because we’ve seen Rishi row back on the net zero stuff, we’ve seen Suella’s speech which I thought was brilliant last week, that was absolutely superb and I told her so.
“People are saying to me, ‘Thank God, finally, you’re saying to us what we want to hear, keep this up and you’ll get our vote next year.’
“And I think we will. This conference for me has been very positive, the mood is a lot better than what it was last year, there’s no doom and gloom here.
“If we keep it up, we’re down to less than 10 points now in the opinion polls.
“Keep the ship calm, we’ll be fine and I think we’ll win next year.”
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Mr Anderson joked that the Prime Minister made him deputy chairman of the Conservative Party “probably to shut me up”.
He said: “People say, ‘Oh that Lee Anderson says controversial things’. I don’t think they’re controversial what I’m saying at all, I think it’s what you lot are thinking most of the time.”
And he vowed to continue to be outspoken, prompting more applause from the party faithful in the audience.
He said: “I’m quite divisive I know I am because I try and say everything, I want to get everything off my chest.
“You’ve got to get it off your chest – because when I’m getting it off my chest I’m getting it off my chest for you people in this room – because I’m saying what you want me to say a lot of the time and you daren’t say it, so if I can’t say it you’ve not got a voice so I’ll carry on being divisive.”
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