Cornerstone Group

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Cornerstone Group
Cornerstone Group.jpg
Motto Faith, Flag and Family
Formation 2005
Type Think tank
Headquarters United Kingdom
Key people Sir Edward Leigh
John Hayes
Affiliations Conservative Party
Website cornerstone-group.org.uk

The Cornerstone Group is a socially conservative 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. More than fifty Conservative Party Members of Parliament belong to the Cornerstone Group at present, including several members of HM 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 downward to regionalisms in the shape of 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

Principles[edit]

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 the UK's Anglican heritage (although some are looking to Roman Catholicism in view of increasing liberalism within the CofE), opposes any transfer of power away from 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 tighter levels of immigration into the UK.

Its core focus points include the Monarchy; traditional marriage; family and community duties; proper pride in the United Kingdoms 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; Promotion and protection of ancient liberties against politically correct censorship and a commitment to the democratically elected UK parliament.

Prominent MPs from this wing of the party include Owen Paterson, John Redwood and Edward Leigh — a notable Roman Catholic — out of an organisation marked out by its support for the Anglican Church. Alan Duncan once referred to this wing as a "Taliban tendency" within the Party and mocked it as the "Tombstone Group", although this view has become increasingly unfashionable. The conservative English philosopher Roger Scruton represents the intellectual wing of the Cornerstone Group: his writings rarely touch on economics and instead concentrate on providing conservative perspectives on political, social, cultural and moral issues.

Its impact can be measured, in some part, from the stance taken by Cameron's Cabinet members, such as Eric Pickles.

Members[edit]

The below list includes current MPs (but not Peers) who are members of the Cornerstone Group.[3]

Member Constituency MP since
Edward Leigh Gainsborough 1983
John Hayes South Holland and the Deepings 1997
Nigel Adams Selby and Ainsty 2010
David Amess Southend West 1983
Steve Baker Wycombe 2010
Brian Binley Northampton South 2005
Peter Bone Wellingborough 2005
Julian Brazier Canterbury 1987
Fiona Bruce Congleton 2010
David Burrowes Enfield Southgate 2005
Bill Cash Stone 1984
Christopher Chope Christchurch 1997 (prev. 1983)[4]
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
Ian Liddell-Grainger Bridgwater and West Somerset 2001
Robert Halfon Harlow 2010
Greg Hands Chelsea and Fulham 2005
Philip Hollobone Kettering 2005
Adam Holloway Gravesham 2005
Gerald Howarth Aldershot 1997 (prev. 1983)[5]
Stewart Jackson Peterborough 2005
Sajid Javid Bromsgrove 2010
David Jones Clwyd West 2005
Daniel Kawczynski Shrewsbury and Atcham 2005
Greg Knight East Yorkshire 2001 (prev. 1983)[6]
Kwasi Kwarteng Spelthorne 2010
Jacob Rees-Mogg North East Somerset 2010
David Nuttall Bury North 2010
Owen Paterson North Shropshire 1997
John Redwood Wokingham 1987
Laurence Robertson Tewkesbury 1997
Andrew Rosindell Romford 2001
Lee Scott Ilford North 2005
Andrew Turner Isle of Wight 2001
Martin Vickers Cleethorpes 2010
Charles Walker Broxbourne 2005
Angela Watkinson Hornchurch and Upminster 2001
John Whittingdale Maldon 1992

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ www.conservativehome.com
  2. ^ "Conservative MPs call for 'moral values' agenda". ePolitix.com. 25 June 2005. 
  3. ^ "Who we are". Cornerstone Group. 
  4. ^ Chope was MP for Southampton Itchen from 1983 until 1992
  5. ^ Howarth was MP for Cannock and Burntwood from 1983 until 1992
  6. ^ Knight was MP for Derby North from 1983 until 1997

External links[edit]