Tory ex-minister QUITS 'self-obsessed' party and now backs Starmer to lead - 'Reset is urgently needed'

Sir Keir Starmer was backed to become the next UK Prime Minister.
Sir Keir Starmer was backed to become the next UK Prime Minister.

Claire Perry O'Neill heaped praise on Sir Keir Starmer, crediting him for offering 'sober, fact-driven, competent political leadership'

Published Last updated

Former Conservative minister Claire Perry O’Neill has quit the party and backed Sir Keir Starmer, branding the Tories as "self-obsessed".

The ex-energy minister, who served in Theresa May's Cabinet from 2017 to 2019, said that she cancelled her party membership earlier this month despite being a fan of Rishi Sunak.

Claire Perry O’Neill was an energy minister in Theresa May's government
Claire Perry O’Neill was an energy minister in Theresa May's government

Perry O’Neill was the MP for Devizes from 2010 to 2019 and was once tipped by David Cameron to be a rising star.

However, she has said the she can no longer support her former party due to its "cavalier" attitude.

"As much as I like and admire the Prime Minister and Chancellor, they are too beholden to a party dominated now by ideology and self-obsession to deliver the big changes we need in a fact-based, competent way,” she told The Times.

"I spend most of my time now working in the private sector and this is not the way to build back confidence and deliver investment, especially in the crucial energy sector."

She added: "My former party’s often cavalier approach to business and academia, coupled with a post-Brexit reluctance to strategically engage with our European neighbours, has damaged our ability to deliver the energy system we need."

Instead she heaped praise on Starmer, crediting him for offering "sober, fact-driven, competent political leadership".

She said: "Some of the latest policy proposals from the Labour Party, such as industrial support for key green technologies and a national low carbon wealth fund, look exciting and can only help the UK benefit from the economic opportunity driven by this great global pivot to a low carbon economic system... even more important is their proposed focus on a new way of governing, focused on measurable outcomes not short-term shout-outs."

Perry O’Neill stood down as an MP at the last election and has since taken up a number of senior advisory positions in the private sector.

The former Devizes MP labelled her ex-party as 'self-obssessed'
The former Devizes MP labelled her ex-party as 'self-obssessed'

Her decision to quit the party comes after multimillionaire Tory donor Gareth Quarry gave thousands to Starmer's party last year.

Bury South MP Christian Wakeford also defected from the Conservatives last January, crossing the floor of the House of Commons to join the Labour ranks.

People Polling for GB News published on January 6 indicated Labour leads the Tories in voting intention with 46 percent and 22 percent respectively.