Chancellor Jeremy Hunt Warns of Need for Effective Opposition if Labour Wins

Chancellor Jeremy Hunt has emphasised the importance of having an “effective opposition” in Parliament should Labour win the forthcoming general election.

This remark comes as senior Conservatives increasingly acknowledge the potential for their party to face defeat.

Mr Hunt’s comments follow those of Work and Pensions Secretary Mel Stride, who noted that opinion polls indicate Labour could achieve “the largest majority virtually in the history of this country.” Last week, Grant Shapps also cautioned against giving Labour a “supermajority” that could lead to unchecked power.

With the Conservative Party losing support to Reform UK, senior figures have repeatedly warned that voting for Nigel Farage’s party could split the centre-right vote, ultimately benefiting Labour. Prime Minister Rishi Sunak, however, maintains that he is still fighting to win the election.

Despite this, many Conservative candidates privately concede that a victory is unlikely and are instead focusing on minimising Labour’s potential majority. This strategic shift has only been publicly acknowledged by senior Tories in the past week.

In an interview with BBC economics editor Faisal Islam, Mr Hunt (pictured at a local hustings meeting) was asked if discussing a Labour “supermajority” implied that the Tory campaign had faltered. He responded, “I think it’s very important if Labour win, that they have an effective opposition in Parliament.”

Mr Hunt, who is contesting the newly formed seat of Godalming and Ash in Surrey, admitted to facing a “knife-edge” battle against the Liberal Democrats. In the 2019 election, he held a majority of 8,817 in his previous seat of South West Surrey.

Addressing voters, Mr Hunt said, “If you vote for Reform, Reform aren’t going to win but the Lib Dems will win. You will have fewer centre-right MPs and fewer MPs who want to control migration, fewer MPs who want to reduce tax, and that isn’t what those voters want.”

The candidates for the Godalming and Ash constituency are:

Reform UK: Graham Drage
Liberal Democrat: Paul Follows
Conservative: Jeremy Hunt
Green: Ruby Tucker
Labour: James Walsh
Women’s Equality Party: Harriet Williams

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Chancellor Jeremy Hunt Warns of Need for Effective Opposition if Labour Wins