BIRMINGHAM, United Kingdom – A pressure group founded by Margaret Thatcher has claimed that the former Prime Minister would not have endorsed defections to UKIP if she were alive today. Conservative Way Forward (CWF), which Thatcher headed until her death in 2013, made the claims at a private event at party conference.
The CWF midnight reception was attended by a number of senior figures aligned with the right of the party including the former defence secretary Dr Liam Fox. It was also addressed by the party chairman Grant Shapps, which was widely seen as a signal from the Conservatives that they were willing to listen to their concerns about the direction of the party.
CWF chairman Donal Blaney claimed Mark Reckless’ defection had “let down the right”. He said: “Mark Reckless has let us down, and made it harder for us to get what we want: the chance to vote to leave the EU. We here are loyal.”
He also said: “We must do our bit to keep a Conservative government. Lady Thatcher our president, believed that. That is why she remained a Conservative until her death, she knew the best vehicle for smaller government, lower taxes and an independent Britain was the Conservative Party.”
The rallying call came just days after a second right-wing Conservative MP defected to UKIP. The party had been accused of taking right-wingers for granted, and this has been blamed for the haemorrhaging of support to UKIP.
Breitbart London understands that the party will now undertake a number of actions to placate the right. It is unclear whether this will quell the defection problem faced by David Cameron.
There has been a long running debate about how Thatcher would have viewed UKIP. The former Conservative cabinet member Jonathan Aitken claimed last year that Thatcher would be “secretly cheering on” Farage and UKIP.