Iceland boss resigns from Conservative Party citing loss of direction
In a surprising turn of events, Richard Walker, CEO of Iceland, has announced his resignation from the Conservative Party, expressing deep concerns about the party’s direction and its impact on the country.
Walker, who had been in the process of seeking election as a Tory MP, has removed his name from the list of approved parliamentary candidates and officially cancelled his Conservative party membership.
In an op-ed published in The Guardian, Walker didn’t mince his words, stating that the Conservative Party had “drifted badly out of touch with business and the economy, and with the everyday needs of the British people.” He went on to suggest that the country is in a “considerably worse state” than it was 13 years ago when the party returned to power.
Walker, known for pioneering numerous sustainable initiatives at Iceland, including offering interest-free loans to customers grappling with the cost of living crisis, and advocating for changes in infant milk laws, expressed his unwillingness to compromise his principles and values as an MP. He particularly criticized the Conservative Party’s approach to net-zero targets and environmental issues, accusing the prime minister of lacking genuine interest in green concerns.
“The UK needs stability and certainty,” Walker emphasized, lamenting the government’s “constant changes of direction and failures to make decisions” as actively undermining these vital elements.
Walker’s resignation and his scathing critique of the Conservatives coincided with the start of the party’s annual conference in Manchester. He also took a swipe at Chancellor Rishi Sunak for what he perceived as a lack of commitment to green issues, especially regarding the watering down of net-zero targets.
While Walker remained open about his future political affiliations, he affirmed that for now, his Conservative party card is “in the shredder, and it’s blue.” Since the 2019 election, he observed, it had become increasingly evident that the Conservative Party had lost touch with business, the economy, and the everyday needs of the British people.
Walker concluded his searing critique by remarking, “Today’s reality is that we have a nominally Conservative government, yet I struggle to name a single thing they are actually conserving.”
His decision to step down from the Conservative Party marks a significant development in the political landscape, leaving many to speculate about the potential impact on both the party and Walker’s future political involvement.
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