Change course or face losing general election, Lord Frost tells PM in first interview since quitting cabinet

‘I saw the polling and it doesn’t look good,’ the former Brexit Minister warned

Laurie Churchman
Sunday 09 January 2022 09:15
<p>Lord David Frost</p>

Lord David Frost

Boris Johnson must change course to avoid losing the next election, his former Cabinet Minister Lord Frost has warned.

In his first interview since dramatically resigning as Brexit Minister last month, Lord Frost called on the PM to bring his government back along traditional Conservative lines, saying he had “concerns about the current direction of travel”.

With the Tories trailing Labour in the polls, the ex-Brexit chief said a shake up was needed to “get out of this little trough and win the Election in a couple of years’ time”.

He urged the PM to revitalise the country with “free markets, free debate and low taxes” and “set the direction of travel” to win over ordinary voters.

He said: “I saw the polling and it doesn’t look good. I don’t think the Red Wall is so different to the rest of the country.”

Lord Frost, who was appointed a peer for life by Mr Johnson in August 2020, told The Mail on Sunday: “What I think we need to do is be clearer about the direction of travel, clearer about how we’re going to get there. And I think the PM should trust his instincts a bit more.”

He added: “The PM has a right, when he wants something to happen, for the levers that he pulls to actually produce something. And he has the right to the best possible advice around him.

“So I think there needs to be machinery changes and there probably need to be some different voices around him to make sure that he gets the best possible advice.”

Lord Frost, who was handpicked as an advisor by Mr Johnson from his previous role as a lobbyist for the drinks industry, said he was confident the country could succeed under Mr Johnson’s leadership “if we can get the policies right”.

He said the PM had some “very difficult decisions to take” – particularly on Covid policy.

He hit out at what he called “coercive” measures to tackle the virus, which he said were central to his resignation last month.

Lord Frost has recently joined forces with a group of Tory MPs campaigning against Covid-19 restrictions.

He has pledged to help the Covid Recovery Group, who have been pushing for the PM to reject additional safety measures since November 2020.

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