'Tories are obsessed with which toilet people use - constituents aren't'

14 July 2022, 16:19

By Fiona Jones

Professor Tim Bale told LBC he finds it "amazing" how "obsessed" Conservatives are with culture wars - despite the issues failing to land with the public.

His analysis of the Tory leadership pledges comes Suella Braverman is the latest candidate to be knocked out of the race.

Former Chancellor Rishi Sunak took top spot with 101 votes from colleagues whilst Penny Mordaunt came in second with 83 votes.

LBC's Shelagh Fogarty reflected that the prominent question for the public is how each candidate aims to deak with the cost of living crisis - with a focus group in Rother Valley confirming exactly that.

Political scientist Professor Tim Bale said: "I'm certain that's going to have to be more important than who goes to the lavatory where - although some Conservative MPs seem to be absolutely obsessed with that kind of thing.

"I don't really think it resonates that much with either Conservative members or the public."

Leadership contender Kemi Badenoch became a "culture war" talking point during her leadership launch after turning generic toilets into gendered ones, with makeshift signs saying "Men" and "Ladies".

Professor Tim questioned this: "It some ways what I find fascinating is quite how obsessed the Conservative Party remains about those issues when all the signals are that they're not actually helping them that much.

"When it comes to the Blue Wall seats, they're probably counter-productive in terms of voters."

Shelagh pontificated that Labour have made such a "carsey" of the issue that Conservative ministers aim to set their party line straight.

The remaining five contenders in the Tory leadership race:

  • Rishi Sunak - 101 votes
  • Penny Mordaunt - 83 votes
  • Liz Truss - 64 votes
  • Kemi Badenoch - 49 votes
  • Tom Tugendhat - 32 votes

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