Happening On Campus

Danny Kruger MP Addresses The Nottingham University Conservative Association

Hannah Walton-Hughes

On Thursday 14th March 2024, the Member of Parliament for Devizes in Wiltshire, Danny Kruger, visited the University of Nottingham to speak to the Nottingham University Conservative Association (NUCA). Hannah Walton-Hughes reports. 

Mr. Kruger began the Q&A, hosted by NUCA’s President Ted Grainger, by speaking about how he became involved in the Conservative Party. Kruger revealed that he had been involved on and off since he was a student, before embarking on a career in charities, and then landing a job with former Conservative leader Ian Duncan Smith MP.  

Describing himself as a cultural and social conservative

He has bought his priorities and values to politics, including: security underpinning society and promoting freedom. Describing himself as a cultural and social conservative, he highlighted his belief in the importance of family and community.  

Ted pointed out how Kruger was a former speech writer for David Cameron, a politician appearing to be very different to him politically. Whilst commending Cameron for his commitment to family values, he commented that he “ultimately, [became] more liberal rather than conservative on social policy.”  

Kruger believes that the public are actually more to the right

He then made a claim that “[politicians] are the victims of a media narrative” that the centre of the Conservatives is where the majority of the public are. In fact, Kruger believes that the public are actually more to the right than the party overall. 

Ted posed the question to him about the frequent accusation of the Tory Party as the ‘nasty party’. Kruger admitted that there was a perception that this was the case, and that there was a tendency on the right to occasionally too aggressively endorse British values.  

Kruger believes that, from a Christian point of view, we should not judge others, but be compassionate and help each other. 

Whilst Kruger supports a tougher approach to crime and punishment, including the construction of more prisons, he also wants to see a greater understanding of why people reach that point (e.g. as a result of broken families), and offer support to them before they commit a crime. 

Linked them very strongly to the people who voted for Brexit

Reflecting on the development of his ‘faction’ of the New Conservatives (composed mainly of MPs who entered Parliament in 2019 or 2017), Kruger linked them very strongly to the people who voted for Brexit to “get out country” back in a “new era of politics” which governed for the people of Britain, not for the international community.  

The group was set up a year ago, because some MPs felt that the government was not delivering for the voters who gave them an eighty-seat majority. Their aim is to promote the restoration of sovereignty, and move away from the bureaucratic state.  

He understands why voters are abandoning [the Conservatives] for Reform

Lee Anderson MP’s recent defection to Reform UK was also brought up in the interview. Kruger believes Anderson has “done a bad thing for the country”, but lays the blame at the door of the Tory party. He understands why voters are abandoning his party for Reform, stating that both parties have the same mission but the “vehicle is wrong” in terms of Reform. 

There is “a real risk of us being obliterated by Reform and ‘stay-at-home’.”- Kruger 

He did not shy away from questions about Rishi Sunak’s leadership itself. He has no issue with Sunak personally, but worries about where he is taking the party; Kruger has been trying to convince him “publicly and privately” to change direction.  

However, he commended him on issues such as sex education in schools and what he termed the “trans ideology”, and believes that Sunak is more socially conservative than some of his predecessors. 

“Is it possible for him to lead us in the right way? I don’t know”, but he thinks that it is worth trying.

He could “hardly believe it”

Impact questioned him as to his opinion on the recent government policy of paying illegal immigrants £3,000 to get on a plane to Rwanda.  

Kruger said he could “hardly believe it”, and suggested that this shows the government may not truly believe in the Rwanda bill. 

He himself voted against the Rwanda Bill when it was voted on in the Commons, believing that it wouldn’t work.  

He finished by talking about how his faith influences his politics. He said that it has an impact on his action on debates such as assisted dying. 

He has not ruled out backing them again

“We all bring our morality into everything we do, including politics.” 

A final question put to Kruger was around who he would support after Sunak for the Conservative leadership. Having supported Suella Braverman MP and subsequently Kemi Badenoch MP in the last contest, he has not ruled out backing them again.  

Hannah Walton-Hughes

Featured image courtesy of Jorge Percival via Unsplash. Image license found here. No changes were made to this image.

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