Why Boris is the true heir to Blair – Suffolk Tory MP Dr Dan Poulter
- Credit: Archant
Suffolk Conservative MP Dr Dan Poulter has told how he backed Tony Blair in the 1990s and early 2000s – and how he sees Boris Johnson as the true heir to the Blairite vision of the turn of the century.
The Central Suffolk and North Ipswich was speaking after he was interviewed by former Labour MP Gloria del Piero on GB News TV station – and told how former Prime Minister David Cameron persuaded him to return to Tories.
He said: "I voted Conservative in 1997 because the local MP was a family friend (his mother worked as an MP's assistant) but after that election I felt the Conservatives were moving away from the mainstream and I was impressed with what the Labour government was doing for public services.
"I voted Labour in 2001 and 2005 because the money they were putting in was making a real difference to the NHS and hospitals and because I didn't feel at that time the Conservatives were representing ordinary people's concerns."
He returned to the Conservatives after meeting recently-elected party leader, and future Prime Minister, David Cameron while volunteering at project for the homeless in 2006.
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Dr Poulter said: "He really impressed me with his ideas of a new brand of Conservatism. I've always had basically middle of the road views. I think that in a democracy like this there are good and bad things with all governments but he persuaded me to stand for the council and that's how it started.
"A few years later, after all the issues with the expenses scandal, the party was looking for a new group of people to come through and put their name forward as parliamentary candidates. So I did – and that's how I ended up in parliament."
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Dr Poulter was an early backer of Boris Johnson when he stood for the Tory leadership: "He is basically a liberal Conservative. Look at what he did in London promoting same-sex marriage, equality and his green travel policies.
"He's also shown recently that he's prepared to put up taxes if that's needed with the health and social care levy. That's not very different to what Tony Blair was doing 20 years ago."