Amber Rudd has said the Conservative Party needs to “change” to fight off Jeremy Corbyn’s Labour Party which is “right behind” the government.
Speaking at a drinks reception in central-London on Monday evening, the home secretary appealed to the “next generation” of Tory MPs elected in 2015 and 2017 to take the fight to Labour.
“We need to adapt our ideas and our reality to a changing context,” she said.
“To continue with the principles and ideas that make us Conservative, but we need to change them to fit the modern challenges we face.”
Rudd was speaking at an event hosted by the Centre for Policy Studies (CPS), a think-tank co-founded by Margaret Thatcher.
The home secretary, straying into policy areas beyond her Home Office brief, said the Conservatives needed to be “prouder and louder” about having cut taxes since 2010.
“We stand for free enterprise and aspiration, and law and order and the the basic ingredients that makes us a safe and prosperous nation,” she said.
“To all of you here, the next generation, you are going to be crucial in making that happen.”
Rudd also launched an attack on Jeremy Corbyn and Labour for deciding to “prefer Hugo Chavez”.
“I thought the arguments on security on policing had been won,” she said. “Who would have thought we would have a situation where the leaders of the Labour Party and their frontbench have called of the disbandment of MI5.
“We need to go out there and have that fight because right behind us is Labour who are try and to corrupt and make sure other people don’t understand the things we stand for.”
Rudd’s speech came as two senior Tory MPs threatened Theresa May over her Brexit Bill.
Nick Morgan, the chair of the Treasury committee, said the prime minister was “tin-eared and tone deaf” in her approach to leaving the EU.
And Dominic Grieve, the former Attorney General, said May’s plan to write into law a 11pm deadline on the 29 March, 2019, for Brexit was “incoherent and thoroughly stupid”.