Ian Payne 4pm - 7pm
Kit Malthouse: I Am The Only Person Who Can Unite The Conservative Party
28 May 2019, 09:02
Kit Malthouse insists he is the only person who can bring the two sides of the Conservative Party together as he announced he is standing to be the next Tory leader.
The Housing Minister was the author of the Malthouse Compromise, the Brexit deal which got agreement from both Brexiters like Steve Baker and Remainers like Nicky Morgan.
Speaking to Nick Ferrari as he announced his leadership bid, he says that shows he's the right man to succeed Theresa May.
He said: "We need three ingredients to get us out of this jam. First of all, we have to have unity. Secondly, we've got to have a Brexit plan. And thirdly, we've got to have a compelling domestic agenda, which will attract the kind of support that we need in a General Election.
"The first two are key, particularly as we come towards 31st October. And I'm the only candidate who has managed to produce that in the last few months.
"Back at the end of January, I put together what became known as the Malthouse Compromise, which united the party, brought people as far apart as Steve Baker and Nicky Morgan together in a room which the party then voted on 29th January a majority for. That was the last time we did that.
"As we get to the end of October, we have to unify around a plan that would take us out of the European Union before we get to that deadline. I'd like to have another go at producing that unity."
Nick pointed out that Mr Malthouse is far from a household name, especially compared to his former boss in City Hall Boris Johnson.
But the Housing Minister insists that may actually be a strength. He said: "I have a desire for change, no baggage and a proven ability to unite quite differing points of view.
"I'm standing because I think people need a choice. The choice can be new and change - and I hope that's me."
Regarding the backstop, which sunk Theresa May's Brexit deal, Mr Malthouse added: "It's pretty obvious the backstop won't pass the House as currently drafted.
"So my view is we need to present a new Withdrawal Agreement to the EU that removes all of that tricky, difficult stuff that won't get through the House, so that we can present a deal to the EU that we know can get through the House and that we hope they will accept.
"We don't want to choose no-deal. There's only one person who I know who positively wants it - John Redwood. Everyone else wants a deal, so we need to find one as we did with the Malthouse Compromise."