'Amber Rudd railed against the ‘politics of grievance and outrage’ last night, urging the Tories not to leave the centre ground – in an apparent attempt to shape the Tory leadership contest.
And Liz Truss will today make her own intervention, designed to burnish her leadership credentials, as she attacks the ‘anti-success attitude’ that wealth is never ‘deserved’.
In a speech to a Tory think tank, Miss Rudd said the language of ‘betrayal’ and treachery fuelled violence against MPs. And she also warned that Conservatives were facing the ‘fight of our lives’ against Jeremy Corbyn.
The Work and Pensions Secretary made the remarks in a speech to the centrist think tank Onward in which she backed the Tories to be a ‘pragmatic, compassionate centre-Right government’.
They will be seen as an attempt to shape the Tory leadership contest – although Miss Rudd is not expected to make her own bid to succeed Theresa May.
She told the meeting in central London: ‘There used to be a consensus that politics when debated would be debated on the facts, and we seem to have lost that. The extremism is coming up to us from the Left and from the Right and we need to make sure we fill the middle.’
She added: ‘We have to fill that vacuum and go out and campaign for conservative values and beliefs.
‘If we leave that vacuum then extremists will fill it. We cannot vacate the ground, whatever our feelings about Brexit.’
At the event, Attorney General Geoffrey Cox compared the state of the Conservatives to the fate of a man who is about to be hanged. He said: ‘He was ushered forward to the steps of the scaffold and the entire rickety edifice wobbled and shook.
‘He was marched forward to the noose and the noose was put about his neck and he was asked if he had any final words. After a moment’s pause he said: “This bloody thing isn’t safe”.’'
Read more: Amber Rudd rails against 'politics of grievance and outrage' while Liz Truss attacks 'anti-success attitude' in latest Tory leadership manoeuvres
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