19 July 2022

PM Penny will drag the unions back to reality

By Michelle Donelan MP

As the country faces down some of the most opportunistic, reckless strikes in its history, we need a Prime Minister with the backbone and resolve to fight for the general public. That Prime Minister is Penny Mordaunt.

Militant unions are prepared to actively worsen the cost of living crisis to achieve their goals, using the worst-off in our society as bargaining chips.

One reason I am backing Penny Mordaunt for Prime Minister is her steadfast resolve to take on the unions and put the public interest first. Rather than agreeing sensible passenger-focussed improvements to services, the unions are demanding inflationary pay settlements for staff and to maintain grossly outdated working practices – all at the expense of the farepayer and taxpayer.

Union bosses gleefully reading out their aim of causing ‘maximum disruption’ to key cultural events like Glastonbury and sports fixtures is disgraceful enough, but given that our NHS and other vital public services are under direct threat too, lives will be lost if the unions are not brought back to reality.

Penny is the only candidate who has broken the silence on this issue and taken a bold, pro-Britain stance. As she rightly said in the ITV debate over the weekend, her government would actively support modernisation and innovation to get our economy moving. Now is the time to invest in new innovations that make rail travel safer and cheaper for the public, following countries that did so decades ago and are enjoying the economic benefit of a strong, modern rail system today.

To get there, Penny will review the UK’s industrial action laws to ensure that we have a system that is more in line with other modern nations, where essential services are subject to stricter prohibitions on crippling strike action. Financial penalties should be part of such a review too

It is through bold yet measured actions like these that Penny is gaining a groundswell of support in the Conservative Party and across the country. Her values of public service, teamwork and patriotism certainly remind me of the reasons I became a Conservative in the first place, and I know it does for many others too.

We have serious challenges to face as a country and my view is that we need a fresh start with an innovative, strong leader in Number 10. If we fail to choose a leader capable of winning the next general election and stopping Starmer, the Labour-backed unions will enter their heyday. It is time for a Tory leader who can beat the unions and win elections. Penny Mordaunt is undoubtedly that leader.

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Michelle Donelan is MP for Chippenham.

Columns are the author's own opinion and do not necessarily reflect the views of CapX.