Ex-Tory Minister Praises Starmer And Quits Party

Claire Perry O’Neill characterises the Conservatives as "a party dominated by ideology and self-obsession".
Peter Summers via Getty Images

A former Tory minister has revealed they have quit the party and is now publicly praising Keir Starmer.

Claire Perry O’Neill, who attended cabinet under Theresa May, said the Conservatives are now consumed by “ideology and self-obsession”.

The ex-MP, who was COP26 president before being sacked by Boris Johnson, said she wanted to “applaud” Starmer for “sober, fact-driven, competent political leadership”.

The former climate and energy minister was writing in The Times in an opinion piece headlined: ‘Labour are serious about Britain’s energy crisis — unlike my former party’.

She said: “As much as I like and admire the prime minister and chancellor, they are too beholden to a party dominated now by ideology and self-obsession to deliver the big changes we need in a fact-based, competent way.

“I spend most of my time now working in the private sector and this is not the way to build back confidence and deliver investment – especially in the crucial energy sector.”

She added: “My former party’s often cavalier approach to business and academia coupled with a post-Brexit reluctance to strategically engage with our European neighbours has damaged our ability to deliver the energy system we need and a full-scale reset of our domestic and international relationships, focused on calm, competent co-operation, is urgently needed.”

She praised Labour’s approach, writing: “As one of the longest-serving UK energy ministers, I want to applaud Keir Starmer and the Labour Party for putting energy at the top of their proposed new government inbox.”

Perry O’Neill was fired in early 2020 as the president of the COP26 UN climate summit, and replaced by Alok Sharma.

She accused Boris Johnson of a lack of leadership and “apparent dark ops” over her dismissal.


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