- Conservatives are seen as an uncaring party by voters.
- The Tories will attempt to rebrand themselves as pro-animal and defenders of the environment.
LONDON – The Conservatives are reportedly going to rebrand themselves as “the caring party” following the disastrous 2017 general election campaign and their apparent image as an anti-animal group.
MPs have been told by Downing Street that the party will move to focus on issues such as animal welfare and the environment after private polling showed voters saw the Conservatives as uncaring, the Daily Mail said.
The Tories will begin a campaign to “build a Britain fit for the future” through concentrating on 7 issues, from “getting the best Brexit deal for Britain” to “tackling injustices,” according to the report, based on accounts from unnamed backbench MPs.
Conservative backbenchers were recently invited to Downing Street to discuss the new plans by Theresa May’s chief of staff Gavin Barwell, the report said.
It added that briefing document handed to the MPs said: “Underpinning all this is our commitment to protect our environment, so we leave our planet in a better state than we found it.
“By delivering on all of this, we can create a country with a stronger economy and a fairer society, one that will guarantee a better future for the next generation.”
One Tory MP present at the meeting told the Mail that internal Conservative polling had found that the party came across as “not caring enough.”
General election policies such as a vote on repealing the fox hunting ban and the lack of a policy on banning ivory sales in the manifesto helped to contribute towards the Conservatives being seen as anti-animal by voters.
The stance led to severe criticism of the Conservatives on social media during the election and in the months following it, with both the Tories and Labour stunned by the reaction against it.
Environment Secretary Michael Gove has sought to undo this image of the modern Conservative party, through policies such as banning the ivory trade in the UK.
Last week, a story in the Independent about Tory MPs voting against including a clause on animal sentience in the EU withdrawal bill became the most read political story of 2017.
The story spread quickly online, being shared more than 500,000 times on social media.
Gove was forced to issue a statement denying the claims, saying: “This Government is committed to the very highest standards of animal welfare.”
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