Son of former Labour cabinet minister tells James O'Brien why he votes Tory

17 December 2019, 11:25 | Updated: 17 December 2019, 11:37

The son of Lord Bruce of Donington, the parliamentary private secretary of NHS founder Nye Bevan, told James O'Brien why he supports the Conservatives.

Michael called in and pointed out that what Labour needs is a leader like Lisa Nandy who could provide "effective opposition" to the Conservative government.

"She doesn't just speak in rhetoric, she thinks, listens and then responds. That is the sort of person we need as the Leader of the Opposition," he said.

James pointed out that we've just seen the Prime Minister deliver an "epochal victory and he did exactly what you've just described; empty hollow slogans, meaningless rhetoric and a desperate avoidance of scrutiny."

"I have to also confess I am the son of a deceased Labour politician and my experience of most politicians is that they are full of their own ego and they believe far too much that what they say is what the people want to hear," said Michael, "and this was clearly a failure that Labour had.

"The message that they were giving out was not the message that actually people were receptive to."

Michael's father Lord Bruce Donington is on the right and Mr John Silkin, Shadow Defence Secretary is far left.
Michael's father Lord Bruce Donington is on the right and Mr John Silkin, Shadow Defence Secretary is far left. Picture: PA

James said that what Michael described as the sort of leader we need is "inarguably true" but yet when he references Boris Johnson, "all of these requirements for responsibility and leadership fall apart because he's got none of them."

Michael admitted that in the Conservative membership vote for leadership he "did not vote for Boris."

James then asked if Michael was citing the spirit of his late father when having a dig at politicians.

"A little bit yes," said Michael, "his epitaph was known as Lord Angry." He revealed his father Lord Bruce of Donington, Nye Bevan's parliament private secretary - Nye Bevan's legacy being that he founded the NHS when in government.

He said he grew up as a Labour supporter and remained so until 2003 where decided to switch after seeing too much of a "waste in public money" and said people would have gone "apoplectic" if they had known.

While James pointed out this wasn't happening around 2003, Michael said this was when the "penny dropped."

He continued that he would consider returning to Labour if "someone like Andy Burnham was leader" as he is a "middle-ground democrat."

James pointed out that this will be unlikely unfortunately as Andy Burnham is no longer an MP at the moment.

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