Tomorrow is Theresa May’s birthday. But as I say in The Sun this morning, Tory activists won’t be giving her presents. Instead, they’ll be letting her know what they think went wrong with the election campaign.
My information is that Theresa May won’t apologise for the campaign. But she will make clear that she intends to accept the recommendations of the report by former party chairman Eric Pickles and the 1922 chair Graham Brady into the election debacle.
But May needs to do more than begin to repair relations with her party. She needs to speak to the country too.
At Labour conference last week, Jeremy Corbyn painted the Tories as tired, out of ideas and clinging to power for power’s sake. It is a potent narrative that plays to the folk memory of the 1990s and the failings of the Major government. May needs to counter it. She needs to show that she has an agenda—and instil it with some urgency.
The Tories need to reverse the fall in home ownership before the next election. As I argue in the magazine this week, the only sure way to do that is for the state to grant itself planning permission on land it already owns and get the houses built. The Tories aren’t yet to embrace this kind of radicalism. But if they want to keep Corbyn out of Number 10, this is what they’ll have to do.