The Cornerstone Group is a highly principled (right wing) conservative group of MP’s working from within the Conservative Party.
It is opposed to gay marriage and is generally fairly homophobic, global warming is a hoax, ban abortion, teach sexual abstinence in schools, hostility to contraceptives, more restrictions on immigration and a vehement hatred of liberalism. The foregoing is summarised in the following statement:
“We believe that these values must be stressed: tradition; nation; family; religious ethics; free enterprise. We will argue for principles and policies, not about personalities. We must seize the centre ground and pull it kicking and screaming towards us. That is the only way to demolish the foundations of the liberal establishment and demonstrate to the electorate the fundamental flaws on which it is based.”
2005: The Cornerstone Group website launch.
In his opening address Chairman Edward Leigh MP wrote about the aims and aspirations of the Group:
“We represent traditional Tory themes of nation, family, enterprise and compassion, founded on Judaeo-Christian ethics. We keep the flame burning because we believe that a vigorous discussion about Conservative ideas can be of immense value to our party”
“We applaud David Cameron’s decision to reach out to people who have yet to vote for us, and for him to talk about environmental and poverty issues, where we have undersold ourselves in the past – and to speak up in favour of marriage.”
“The Conservative Party needs to recognise the burden of taxation and regulation, the growth of political correctness and to explain how we will root out waste and inefficiency, support marriage through the tax and benefit system, reverse the drift of powers to Europe and introduce a fairer system of immigration.”
Tory Party Insider Comment:
“I’m not too sure what David Cameron is supposed to learn from a man who thought that John Redwood would be more appealing to the British public than John Major. Who does he think he is? His bunch of knuckle – draggers couldn’t even put up a candidate for the leadership election.”
This little lot, and their mono-ethnic, mono-cultural, anti-diversity, anti-homosexual, unevangelical view of the world are a major swathe of a party that is (because I am a realist) likely to win power at the next general election.
2006: Cornerstone Group Supporters and friends List (accuracy verified by Conservativehome)
David Amess, Brian Binley, Peter Bone, Julian Brazier, David Burrowes, Douglas Carswell, Bill Cash, Christopher Chope, Stephen Crabb, David TC Davies, Philip Davies, Christopher Fraser, Robert Goodwill, Greg Hands, Mark Harper, John Hayes, Philip Hollobone, Gerald Howarth, David Jones, Daniel Kawczynski, Edward Leigh, Ian Liddell-Grainger, David Mundell, Owen Paterson, John Redwood, Laurence Robertson, Andrew Rosindell, Lee Scott, Andrew Selous, Bob Spink, Graham Stuart, Desmond Swayne, Andrew Turner, Charles Walker, Angela Watkinson
Tory party insiders comments:
I think this Group is a good development. Paradoxically Cameron needs to be seen to come into conflict with and prevail over the right to get the really big boost in trust he needs for outright power. Cornerstone are the perfect vehicle for this. The real fight will begin, when detailed policy is announced. Until then, this is just limbering up prior to the bell on Cornerstone’s part. A big tussle is coming though.
The policies they advocate are very sensible. Those who brush them off as reactionaries betray their own bigotry in a way.
The Group’s views are also held by many Northern voters – from canvassing experience in Leeds last month there are still many who would like to see more emphasis on some of the Cornerstone principles.
I never quite figured out how lurching hard to the right wins us more voters in the north
The Cornerstone Group are not always to my political taste, but I think they should be an important lobbying group to make sure we focus on a full policy agenda.
At this stage they need to stay on Cameron’s side, as they did during the leadership campaign, and lobby from within. I think we need the Cornerstone group to promote tax and law and order. The alternative is people like those on here, no names mentioned, that get excited by the words someone is “right wing” without actually thinking about policy or ideology.
Just two women among a sea of men (a mere 5.7%), and curiously no Ann Widdecombe…, but it takes all sorts I suppose…
14 May 2012: Extreme right winger Mundell is a founder friend of the “Cornerstone Group” a forum for MPs who wish to defend traditional British values – faith, flag and family.
The group mission statement:
“We are a group of Conservative MPs dedicated to the traditional values which have shaped the British way of life throughout this country’s history.
* We believe in the spiritual values which have informed British institutions, her culture and her nation’s sense of identity for centuries, underpinned by the belief in a strong nation state.
* We stand for the Monarchy, traditional marriage; family and community duties, proper pride in our nation’s distinctive qualities, quality of life over soulless utility.
* We support, social responsibility over personal selfishness, social justice as civic duty, (not state dependency) compassion and our ancient liberties against politically correct censorship.
* We believe in reducing government waste, lower taxation and deregulation, and a commitment to our democratically elected parliament.”
13 January 2016: Scottish secretary Mundell comes out as gay
Mundell married Lynda Carmichael in 1987. They had 3 children: Oliver 28 (recently elected to Holyrood), Eve 26 and Lewis 25. The couple separated in 2010 and divorced in 2012.
Scottish Secretary David Mundell wrote on his personal website that it was time to “acknowledge in public as well as in private, who I am”. The 53-year-old MP said he hoped that coming out would not change anything about how he was treated. He is believed to be the first openly-gay Conservative cabinet secretary.
Mundell, wrote in his online post: “New Year, new start! I have already set out my political priorities for the year and now I am setting out my personal one. “Having taken one of the most important decisions of my life and resolved to come out as gay in 2016, I just want to get on with it, and now, just like that, I have said it. I still cannot rationalise my feelings , but they are not uncommon, particularly in men of my age” adding, “of course, everybody who gets to this point, has had their own journey. I have certainly been on mine – conflicting emotions, of doubts and fears, but ultimately positive and uplifting, with an unstoppable direction of travel. Over time, I have come to understand that, for me, the only way to be truly happy on a personal level is to acknowledge in public as well as in private, who I am.”