A Conservative MP has torn into the government, saying: “We’re grinding miserably forward doing Ed Miliband’s policies.”
Steve Baker launched an attack on ministers who he said were just “coping day to day” and branded them “pathetic” at the Conservative party conference in Manchester.
The former minister made the comments during a fringe meeting hosted by right-wing think tank the Institute of Economic Affairs (IEA).
Baker kicked off the event joking that “we’re all socialists now” in response to Boris Johnson’s latest tax rises.
The free-marketeer said: “We are grinding miserably forward doing Ed Miliband’s Labour Party’s policies and we’re hating it every minute and trying to claim it’s conservatism and that really our hearts are somewhere else.
“But eventually the public will look at what we’re doing and say, well, they say their heart’s somewhere else, but look what they’re doing.”
The backbencher and senior Brexit figure added: “We’ve got to say what we mean.”
Baker, who was outspoken against some of the sweeping measures used during the pandemic, argued for government reform, increased scrutiny, competitive expert advice and change to how modelling is done.
He added: “It’s up to Boris and the government whether they do the right things.
“I’ve briefed ministers, they’re just too busy coping. But I actually expect more from those who govern us.
“I actually want more from ministers than just coping day to day. It’s pathetic.”