Common ground issues such as immigration, Europe and shrinking Britain’s welfare spending should form the bedrock of the next Tory manifesto, party grandee Norman Tebbit has said.
In an exclusive and wide-ranging interview with the Express & Star, the Thatcher era former employment secretary, famed for urging unemployed people to get on their bikes and look for work, said the Conservatives must draw a line in the sand with their coalition partners the Liberal Democrats over the referendum on the European Union.
And he spoke of how more work needed to be done to cut spending on benefits, something he claimed would actually appeal to many of Labour’s key supporters despite the party’s objection to policies such as the £26,000-a-year welfare cap.
Lord Tebbit said Britain should leave the European Union.
And he also cast doubt on David Cameron’s ability to renegotiate a deal that would make people want to stay a part of it, should the Prime Minister’s promised referendum in 2017 go ahead.
He also stood by his controversial remarks over new gay marriage laws, which he said would make it technically possible to marry his own son.
But he said he no longer believed Britain stood the chance of having a ‘lesbian queen’ on the throne who has an heir through artificial insemination.
“I’m satisfied that in fact as it stands at the moment, the law of succession does deal with the matter because it says the heir to the throne must be wholly of the body of the monarch and his/her spouse.
“So that is satisfactory,” he added.
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