The European elections were a disaster for the Tories, who now need to prove they can deliver Brexit – and Boris is the best man for the job, says Andrew RT Davies, Shadow Rural Affairs Minister in Wales.
The European Elections proved a bloodbath for the two main political parties.
In Wales, the Brexit Party came out on top by some distance, returning two MEPs, while we, the Conservatives, left empty-handed with only six per cent of the vote.
It was a drubbing. As the Lib Dems found out after ‘tuition fees’, if you break a promise to the electorate, they will deliver an almighty thump to your backside.
Admittedly we didn’t have the greatest record, but the saddest thing of all from my perspective is that we didn’t even enter the ring during this election in Wales.
As a political entity, your raison d’etre is surely to fight elections, even those you wish weren’t taking place.
But we threw the towel in as soon as the bell was rung, and it’s no real surprise we had our worst election result in history.
We should’ve gone down swinging, but when you run from the electorate it’s no wonder they look elsewhere.
So, where next? Well the message to us as Conservatives is pretty well clear. Deliver Brexit, or our electoral fortunes are on the floor.
A majority of farmers across the country voted to leave the European Union.
They were tired of a failing Common Agricultural Policy which has tied the hands of agriculture and left the average of farmers in this country at a ridiculous 62.
They wanted Wales and the UK to regain control over farming policy for the first time in decades.
Control of our own destiny, with an agriculture programme designed in Britain for Britain, not Brussels.
But so far, we’ve failed.
Last week was a clear verdict on our delivery of Brexit, and people want us to get on with it.
They certainly don’t want another election or referendum asking if they’ve changed their mind.
We have to restore trust and we’ll need to unite as a party in the coming weeks to deliver that. There are no other options.
And as Boris Johnson said over the weekend, ‘if we are to recapture the attention of the electorate, we must show, now, that we can and will deliver what we said we would do.’
We have to get up off the canvass, get back to our feet, and do exactly what we promised we would in 2017.
It’s a monumental challenge ahead, but one I believe we can rise to.
It will of course be for Conservative MPs to decide who goes forward to our membership in the upcoming fight to become our leader and Prime Minister.
Plenty of candidates are throwing their hats into the ring, but for what it’s worth, I believe we need someone who has believed in Brexit from the outset to help us achieve that knockout punch.
It’s an impressive line-up, but for this bout, I’m in Boris’ corner.
He was the leading light in the referendum campaign and took on all challengers, and while some of his opponents went low, he went high and emerged on the winning side.
He truly believes in the opportunities that lie in front of us, and can ensure we realise our aim of delivering a truly Global Britain free from the shackles of the European Union.
A Britain where we are world leaders in agricultural standards and the environment.
We have to win back the trust of the electorate, and none more so than our agricultural and rural communities.
Our industry requires leadership from the very top of the country, and this is an opportunity to reboot the Brexit process.
We’re on the ropes, but the fightback starts now.
Boris is the man our opponents fear the most, and that’s because he’s a winner and gets things done.
He’s best placed to deliver on the referendum result and defeat Jeremy Corbyn, who remains the most dangerous and devastating prospect for agriculture in this country.
Andrew can be found tweeting at @AndrewRTDavies