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Speaking at London’s National Conservatism Conference, South Holland and Deepings MP Sir John Hayes says conservatives must be ‘bold’ towards political opponents

Sir John Hayes belives conservatives must be bold towards ‘those who wish to grind them to dust’ – but adds politics still has plenty of room for compromise.

The South Holland and Deepings MP joined fellow guest speakers including Suella Braverman, Jacob Rees-Mogg, Michael Gove and David Starkey in addressing the crowds at this weeks National Conservatism Conference in London.

The events – which aimed to promote national independence and traditions – was also met by its detractors who labelled it a nod towards aggressive right-wing populism and reminiscent of the poliyical rallies which have become a staple of US politics.

Sir John Hayes
Sir John Hayes

Indeed, Sir John pointed out the stage included ‘a range of ideas, some of which I agreed with, some of which I didn’t’.

During his speech, Sir John declared: “Too many conservatives opt out of conflict and seek the approval of those who wish to grind them to dust.”

Speaking to this paper after the event, he explained his strong words were: ‘a call for us to be bold and confident about our conservatism’, something he says he has heard from his constituency and beyond.

“The case for it is rarely made,” he added.

“The argument for Toryism has too rarely been made and we pander to too many liberal and left wing assumptions and that’s a continuing problem for conservatives.”

But despite the get-tough language from his speech, the MP says he is more-than willing to work with those who have differing viewpoints.

“There’s always room for compromise,” he said.

“In politics you get things done by working with people with a range of views. Of course you respect other people’s opinions.

“I’ve worked with people all across the political spectrum.

“I’ve always had a good relationship with people who shadowed me as a minister, for example Keir Starmer. He shadowed me when I was security minister.

“I’ve built a lot of alliances across Parliament and the political divide, but you need to do that without compromising your own political beliefs.

“When youre clear about your beliefs and don’t dilute what you think you build respect from people. I wouldn’t want people I was working with to abandon what they truly believe.”

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