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If the Tories lose the next election, they need to find superstar mayors

Deputy Director Adam Hawksbee writes on the secret weapon the Tories must utilise if they find themselves in opposition, mayors. He writes:

“What the Conservatives need is a new wave of mayors in their heartlands, north and south. A new mayor for Surrey to provide an authentic conservative voice on the countryside and environment, and visible leadership to a council with a budget of over £1bn. A new mayor for Cumbria, banging the drum for advanced manufacturing and new nuclear projects on the Scottish borders. Some places are already on track: the East Midlands will elect a new mayor next year, with Mansfield MP and Nottinghamshire Council leader Ben Bradley stepping up as the Conservative choice.

One area has the most potential to elect the Tory’s Burnham: Essex. A mayor in this true-blue county could be a pro-Brexit, Boris-style challenger to a more buttoned-up Starmer administration. They could steward a growing regional economy while channelling the frustration of some of Britain’s most left-behind and socially conservative coastal communities. If the general election doesn’t go to plan, a number of high-profile former MPs might relish the opportunity.

In selecting their candidates, the Conservatives don’t need to focus on ideological purity. A range of voices from different wings of the party could support a more effective renewal. The reality is that different parts of the country will want different sorts of politics and policies – one of the core arguments in favour of devolution.”

You can read the whole op-ed here.

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