For all the talk of a more economically interventionist Conservative Party representing a new ‘Red Wall’ coalition, the Tory benches seemed as Thatcherite as ever on the first day back from the Christmas break.
When SNP MP Brendan O’Hara mentioned Margaret Thatcher’s name during PMQs, the Tory benches erupted into spontaneous cheers so loud that the Speaker had to intervene and Mr O’Hara had to repeat his question (only to be met with an even louder cheer second time round.)
While no doubt many of the new Tory MPs idolise Margaret Thatcher, it seems less likely that their voters in ex-mining towns in the North feel as warmly.
The Labour Party has lived for years now in the strange position of having their most successful ever leader being almost unmentionably toxic to many of their voters and even MPs. The Conservative Party might be about to experience a similar predicament — although on the evidence of today’s panto they haven’t worked it out yet.