Rishi Sunak's thrashing is nothing to do with race – but everything to do with what it truly means to be Conservative, says Dan Wootton

It was only a matter of time, wasn’t it?

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In a Conservative Party leadership race that has been praised internationally for its overwhelming diversity – a seeming rejection of the stale and male politicians who dominate the Labour leadership…

It was still only a matter of time before Team Rishi Sunak blamed his imploding campaign on racism.

Forget the fact that Kemi Badenoch was a surprise favourite among the party membership before being booted out by MPs for being too daring and different.

Forget the fact that Liz Truss is a woman who went to a Leeds comprehensive.

Nope, Sunak’s failure is nothing to do with his big state/high tax agenda, which saw him increase our tax burden to the highest it’s been in 70 years.

Nothing to do with his globalist posturing and desire to cosy up to China by making the Communist country our market of choice, as revealed in bombshell leaked Treasury documents reported in The Times today.

Nothing to do with the fact he backstabbed Boris Johnson – the man to whom he owes his career - plotting his leadership campaign, all the while pretending to be his loyal Chancellor.

No, no, no, no it’s down to racism.

Conservative donor and Fishy Rishi supporter Lord Ranger told Indian news network Bharat Tak: “If people reject him, it will be a bad name for the party and the country because this will be perceived as racist.

"And so there is pressure on them to prove that here race does not matter.

"Calibre matters, and Rishi’s calibre is above everyone. I am optimistic that people here will be fair and will not reject anyone on the basis of race.”

Lord Ranger, I can assure you the Conservative members are not rejecting Rishi based on race.

They’re rejecting him based on policies and a lack of loyalty too.

As my colleague and friend Calvin Robinson tweeted in response: "'Vote for me because I am brown,' is bad enough 'if you don’t you’re a racist' is even worse.

"This divisive, toxic rhetoric is straight from the Leftist guidebook on Critical Race Theory and should have no place in the Conservative Party or the government of this great nation.”

The Sunday Telegraph’s Editor Allister Heath – once a major fan of Sunak – summed up the mood of the party best when he described him of “becoming the Tory that anti-Tories on Twitter love to support – a new Heseltine, Clarke, Hunt or Davidson – but who party members reject”.

And on Liz Truss he wrote in today’s Daily Telegraph: "A former Liberal Democrat and ex-Remainer, she has the zeal of a convert; her intellectual journey counts in her favour in the new Tory party.

"She has captured the membership’s mood. Her decision last year to oppose in Cabinet the calamitous, historic blunder that is the 2.5 point National Insurance increase was both right in principle and politically brilliant."

So I repeat: This current thrashing is nothing to do with race, but everything to do with what it truly means to be Conservative.