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Oliver Letwin’s message to liberal Conservatives: hold your nerve

The former Cabinet minister on his party’s way forward—and the chances of George Osborne making a comeback

By William Dry  

Photo: Dominic Lipinski/PA Archive/PA Images

“What is the present purpose of the Conservative Party?”

Shortly after Oliver Letwin reached the Commons in 1997, a strip of dark blue in Blair’s red tsunami, he typed this question onto an empty Word document. He was grappling with the existential crisis of being an opposition backbencher for a party pummelled at the polls. He had spent a little over a decade trying to get into the House of Commons, to get closer to power. And yet when he arrived, the Conservative Party…

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