Cut Taxes, Tackle Immigration, Get Fracking: Farage Challenges Next Tory Leader to Save Britain and Conservative Party

Prime Minister Boris Johnson speaks during Prime Minister's Questions in the House of Commons, London. Picture date: Wednesday July 6, 2022. (Photo by House of Commons/PA Images via Getty Images)
Photo by House of Commons/PA Images via Getty Images)

Brexit leader Nigel Farage has challenged whoever follows Boris Johnson as Prime Minister to consider making some very basic conservative achievements like cutting migration and taxes, asserting national sovereignty, and even just keeping the lights on.

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson has been rocked by a near-constant stream of resignations from his government following his Chancellor and Health Secretary walking out together on Tuesday evening, raising speculation that his time as leader has reached the end.

Whether this is the beginning of the end for Boris or really the end of the end — which is to say whether he goes in six hours or six months — is not yet clear, but ‘Mr. Brexit’ Nigel Farage is already looking to the future, challenging the Conservatives to pick a replacement who will rescue not only the crumbling reputation of their party but the fortunes of the nation as well.

The timing is right to replace Boris, Farage points out — the next general election is likely to fall in a month around Christmas 2024, giving a new leader just enough time to prove themselves as worth re-electing without inviting a snap election beforehand — but there is much to be done, he said, pointing to Johnson’s failures on almost everything except taking Britain out of the European Union as promised. And even this, as Farage never fails to point out, is less a done deal and more a work in progress, underlines the importance of keeping the Europhile left out of office.

On immigration, on a small state, on national sovereignty, even on defending Britain’s energy security, the Brexit leader asserts, Boris Johnson has failed to deliver and his replacement must do better to save their skin, the Conservative Party, and the nation.

Farage wrote Wednesday morning in Britain’s government-adjacent broadsheet the Daily Telegraph:

Replacing Johnson would also be a wonderful opportunity for the Conservative Party to rediscover its purpose… promise not to increase corporation tax by 30 per cent in a few months’ time. They could state their intent for the UK to be self-sufficient in energy – a policy that would be hugely popular among enormous numbers of both Conservative and Labour voters. They could pledge to sort out the Channel crisis, to take Britain out of the European Court of Human Rights, and to tackle the cancer of wokeism. In short, they could redefine Conservatism in the 21st century and use this moment to restore its fortunes.

While Farage was unfailingly obliging to those ministers who have already walked out of the government — ascribing the motivation for erstwhile health minister Sajid Javid walking away now to “having the guts to stand up for decency in office” and “principles” — others might point out that these characters are more likely positioning to have the best chance at becoming leader themselves.

Whether the next leader of the Conservative party comes from within or without the present cabinet remains to be seen — Mr Farage certainly hinted at his own views Wednesday morning, noting: “Perhaps somebody from the backbenches will surprise us.”

Meanwhile, the Prime Minister is busy replacing those colleagues lost with fresh appointments in their place. The most important so far has been Nadim Zahawi as the new Chancellor. Like the man he replaces, Rishi Sunak, Zahawi is one of the wealthiest people in Parliament but, having come to Britain as a child refugee, he is generally considered to qualify as a self-made man.

Whether he will deliver the small-c conservative changes to the nation’s finances needed or not may depend on how long the Prime Minister manages to hold on. But that the United Kingdom presently labours under the highest tax burden seen in decades is certain, and Mr Zahawi — despite some small nods towards the cause — isn’t exactly a celebrity among free-market advocates.

Indeed, Sam Collins of the Institute of Economic Affairs poured doubt on whether the new appointment will see anything but more of the same, given it is — in his view — the Prime Minister blocking fiscal prudence from the top. Collins told GB News on Wednesday: “I don’t think a new chancellor is going to solve the problem here, if you look at Sunak’s resignation letter it is quite clear… our goals were not being stopped by the Chancellor, they were being stopped by 10 Downing Street… Boris seems a lot more interested in splashing the cash on new, exciting projects.”

Collins concluded: “We should be cutting taxes. The tax burden is at the highest level since Clement Atlee was Prime Minister, which should be terrifying to anybody who isn’t an ardent socialist. These are the areas the [new] chancellor should be looking at, but I’m not sure he’ll be able to.”

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