Jeremy Corbyn should be commended for his approach to tolerance and equality, according to Tory MP Heidi Allen as she praised his way of doing politics.
The South Cambridgeshire MP told the HuffPost UK the Labour leader was “challenging” notions of what was “appropriate behaviour” with his drive for a kinder, gentler politics.
Allen, who has repeatedly attacked her own party over welfare cuts, said she does not believe Corbyn could ever win power, but he was changing the debate over how people should act and think in public life.
Speaking at a Commons People Pubcast event at the Conservative Party Conference in Birmingham, Allen said: “Do I think Jeremy Corbyn is a threat - as in, is he going to be the next Prime Minister? No I don’t.
“Do I think the way he’s making people think and challenging existing [views about] what’s appropriate behaviour, care, people values? He’s making people think in a different way. That is probably a threat if you believe it’s a threat – I happen to think it’s a good thing
Allen conceded none of the Tory colleagues would be having “sleepless nights” over the prospect of Corbyn premiership, but “whether you agree with his policies or not, he’s pulling the rug a little bit and making people think in a different way.”
She added: “I commend how he presents himself around tolerance and equality and fairness, but you’ve got to be fiscally responsible as well. You can’t be the mum who gives you the sweeties then lets you rot your teeth but say ‘I love you’.”
When asked if she believed any of Corbyn’s policies were “almost there”, Allen replied: “Just the way you treat people. Being kind sounds like such a soppy, stupid little word.”
Her respectful comments on Corbyn are a marked contrast to those of International Trade Secretary Liam Fox.
During a HuffPost UK event at the conference on Sunday, the Cabinet Minister was damning in his criticism of the Labour leader.
He said: “I do not find Jeremy Corbyn funny and I think that it’s extremely dangerous for the Conservative Party or any other political grouping to say: ‘This party has now taken such leave of its senses it couldn’t possibly be elected.’
“Electoral circumstances are unpredictable – we know that from history.
“This is a very dangerous leader of a very dangerous party at the present time.
“A party that doesn’t believe in Nato, that would abandon our nuclear weaponry, that doesn’t believe in most of the accepted rules of our economics. This is a very dangerous party indeed.”