POLITICS
20/05/2014 07:07 BST | Updated 20/05/2014 07:59 BST

Conservative Party Must Not Drift To The Right, Says Tory MP

Peter Byrne/PA Wire
MP Sarah Wollaston arrives at Preston Crown Court as a witness in the trial for former deputy speaker of the House of Commons Nigel Evans who faces nine charges, dating from 2002 to April 1, last year of sexual offences against seven men.

David Cameron should not let his more right-wing backbenchers draw the Conservative Party away from the centre ground, a Tory MP has said.

Sarah Wollaston, the MP for Totnes, said she was a One Nation person and that her colleagues in parliament should not forget that so were the majority of the British public.

"There is a brand of Conservatism that is very different. I don't want to see it drift off to the right. I feel very passionately we need people who can bring political parties back to the centre where I think the public are," she said.

Wollaston was speaking at an event hosted by Birkbeck College last week. She is one of two Tory MPs elected in 2010 after being chosen as the candidate by an open primary in which all constituents were allowed a vote.

"I think both Labour and the Conservatives do suffer from the same problem," she said. "They have people on the extremes who are shouting very loudly that 'this is where the party is'."

Wollaston added: "I think there is a role for people who want to bring it [the party] more to where the public want to be."

However she said it was a good thing for there to be "exciting natural tension" within political parties about where their centre of gravity should be. The former GP said too often the press reported debate within political parties as evidence of a "chasm".

"The thing about the Conservative Party is it's always been a very broad church. And there are a very great range of opinions and I think thats one of the good things about it," she said.

Wollaston also said the BBC should stop constantly chasing ratings by putting Nigel Farage on programmes like Question Time simply because he makes "good TV".

"I just wish we could start seeing on the media less of Nigel Farage and more of the rest of them, we would see what they are actually like," she said. Wollaston added that when she meets Ukip supporters at public meetings it is clear many have "deeply unattractive views".

Last week veteran Tory MP Nicholas Soames also warned that "eccentric" local Conservative associations were packing the party with anti-European Union candidates. He told The Huffington Post it was now almost impossible to get selected as a Conservative MP if you were not deeply eurosceptic.