New Tory party chairman puts the Conservatives on a general election footing after a 'difficult year' in 2022

8 February 2023, 08:42 | Updated: 8 February 2023, 08:44

MP Greg Hands has said he believes the Conservative party will soon be in a “good state” to fight a general election in 2024.
MP Greg Hands has said he believes the Conservative party will soon be in a “good state” to fight a general election in 2024. Picture: LBC

By Danielle DeWolfe

MP Greg Hands has said he believes the Conservative party will soon be in a “good state” to fight a general election in 2024.

Speaking with Nick Ferrari at breakfast, Hands noted the Tory party had a “difficult year” last year, he said the party was “coming out of that” under Rishi Sunak’s leadership.

Labeling a January 2025 election “unlikely” in response to Ferrari’s questions, he said a Christmas and New Year campaign ahead of polling day would be less than ideal.

“I would not want to see party political canvasers on my doorstep on Christmas Day,” he added.

“Top of my to-do list is getting the party ready for local elections this year”, he confirmed that a general election would be taking place “next year”.

Tory Chairman Greg Hands puts party on election footing

Adding he has a “quite a big to-do list” as part of his new role, Hands said he “can’t see circumstances where [a general election] will be this year”.

Hands was promoted to Tory party chairman from the position of trade minister this week by the prime minister, replacing Nadhim Zahawi who was ousted after failing to declare his tax affairs.

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Vowing to bring into “sharper focus the issues that matter to the country long-term”, the MP for Chelsea and Fulham dodged questions posed by Ferrari on the "out of touch" nature of the party, after the bill for Sunak's cabinet re-shuffle looked o hit £100 million.

He also refusing to comment when pressed on whether he stood by recent comments made by his deputy - the newly promoted ‘30p Lee’ Anderson.

"I don’t have encyclopaedic knowledge of what everyone’s ever said," said Hands.

Anderson gained the nickname '30p Lee' on Wednesday following his comments surrounding the cost of living crisis, claiming people can live cheaply with 30p meals.

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