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Cornerstone Group
PresidentSir Edward Leigh
ChairmanSir John Hayes
Founded2005; 17 years ago (2005)
HeadquartersUnited Kingdom
IdeologyTraditionalist conservatism, High Tory
Political positionRight-wing
PartyConservative Party
SloganFaith, Flag and Family
House of Commons (Conservative seats)
32 / 365
Website
cornerstonegroup.wordpress.com
(Inactive)

The Cornerstone Group is a High Tory or traditional conservative political organisation within the British Conservative Party.[1] The Group espouses traditional values as exemplified by its motto: Faith, Flag, and Family. It comprises Members of Parliament with a traditionalist outlook and was founded in 2005. The Group's president is Edward Leigh and its chairman John Hayes. Many Conservative Party Members of Parliament and Peers belong to the Cornerstone Group, including several members of His Majesty's Government.

The Conservative Party incorporates three main schools of thought; along with the traditionalist-leaning Cornerstone Group, there are also the One Nation and Thatcherite elements. There is more than a degree of overlap between these groups, depending on the issue. The Cornerstone Group supports the unitary governance of the British state and opposes attempts to transfer power away from it — either downwards through regionalism and devolution, or upwards to the international control of the European Union. A manifesto released at the time of its foundation set out the Group's intentions:[2]

We believe that these values must be stressed: tradition; nation; family; religious ethics; free enterprise. We want to use the leadership election to 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.

— Strange Desertion of Tory England: The Conservative Alternative to the Liberal Orthodoxy, July 2005[2]

Principles

Its name derives from the Cornerstone Group's support for three British social institutions: the Church of England, the unitary British state, and the family. To this end, it emphasises England's Anglican heritage, opposes any transfer of power away from the central government and institutions of the United Kingdom — either downwards to the nations and regions or upwards to the European Union — and seeks to place greater emphasis on traditional family structures to repair what has been termed as Britain's broken society, as well as calling for lower levels of immigration into the UK.[citation needed]

Its core focus points according to its website include the "monarchy; traditional marriage; family and community duties; proper pride in the United Kingdom's distinctive qualities; quality of life over soulless utility; social responsibility over personal selfishness; social justice as civic duty, not state dependency; compassion for those in need; reducing government waste; lower taxation and deregulation; and promotion and protection of ancient liberties against politically correct censorship and a commitment to the democratically elected UK parliament."[3]

Prominent MPs from this wing of the party include Owen Paterson and John Redwood. Though the group is marked out by its support for the Anglican Church, it also includes more traditional Catholic members such as Jacob Rees-Mogg and Edward Leigh and Muslims such as Sajid Javid.[citation needed]

Members

This article needs to be updated. Relevant discussion may be found on the talk page. Please help update this article to reflect recent events or newly available information. (April 2017)

The below list includes current MPs (but not Peers) who are members of the Cornerstone Group.[4]

Member Constituency MP since
Edward Leigh Gainsborough 1983
Bill Cash Stone 1984
John Redwood Wokingham 1987
John Whittingdale Maldon 1992
John Hayes South Holland and the Deepings 1997
Christopher Chope Christchurch 1997 (prev. 1983)[5]
Laurence Robertson Tewkesbury 1997
Ian Liddell-Grainger Bridgwater and West Somerset 2001
Greg Knight East Yorkshire 2001 (prev. 1983)[6]
Andrew Rosindell Romford 2001
Peter Bone Wellingborough 2005
Stephen Crabb Preseli Pembrokeshire 2005
David T C Davies Monmouth 2005
Philip Davies Shipley 2005
Nadine Dorries Mid Bedfordshire 2005
Robert Goodwill Scarborough and Whitby 2005
Greg Hands Chelsea and Fulham 2005
Philip Hollobone Kettering 2005
Adam Holloway Gravesham 2005
David Jones Clwyd West 2005
Daniel Kawczynski Shrewsbury and Atcham 2005
Charles Walker Broxbourne 2005
Nigel Adams Selby and Ainsty 2010
Steve Baker Wycombe 2010
Fiona Bruce Congleton 2010
Robert Halfon Harlow 2010
Sajid Javid Bromsgrove 2010
Kwasi Kwarteng Spelthorne 2010
Jacob Rees-Mogg North East Somerset 2010
Priti Patel Witham 2010
Martin Vickers Cleethorpes 2010

See also

References

  1. ^ "What is the Cornerstone group? Matthew Barrett profiles the socially conservative Tory backbench group".
  2. ^ a b Forman, Daniel (25 July 2015). "Conservative MPs call for 'moral values' agenda". ePolitix.com. Archived from the original on 4 June 2011. Retrieved 25 October 2015. The pamphlet was also critical of the outgoing leader Michael Howard's general election campaign, which it accused of being "too timid" on tax cuts, public service reform and family values. "We believe that these values must be stressed: tradition, nation, family, religious ethics, free enterprise," Leigh said. "We want to use the leadership election to argue for principles and policies, not about personalities." He attacked modernisers who want to ape New Labour's cultural liberalism. "The liberals have constructed an empire of cultural assumptions which, conservatives must realise, you either surrender to or fight," he said. "Emulating New Labour both lacks authenticity and is unlikely to make us popular. "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.
  3. ^ "About us". Cornerstone. 2007-01-30. Retrieved 2021-09-16.
  4. ^ "Who we are". Cornerstone Group.
  5. ^ Chope was MP for Southampton Itchen from 1983 until 1992.
  6. ^ Knight was MP for Derby North from 1983 until 1997.