Tuesday 9pm – 10.15pm, Channel 5
Taking a break from some fantastic travel documentaries which included touring the secretive North Korea, former Conservative politician and leadership candidate looks a bit closer to home and evaluates the party he first joined in 1975. He first entered parliament some 35 years ago so with his experience he is ideally placed to provide this insight.
This timely two-part documentary presented by the former Tory Defence Minister, explores the divisions within the Conservative party and how one topic in particular has been the downfall of three of its leaders, all of whom were Prime Minister at the time.
The Tories have struggled with Europe for years, Winston Churchill called for a United States of Europe, Ted Heath led the country into the European Community, Margaret Thatcher vehemently opposed European Integration with her infamous “No, No, No” declaration and David Cameron was forced by the party to hold a referendum on membership of the European Union. This documentary explores the fractious relationship the party has had with Europe and how it has resulted in the resignation of two leaders in quick succession following Brexit. The party arguably reflects the state of the nation, divided by die hard remainders and leavers who are determined to do whatever is necessary to achieve their aim without too much thought about the other side. Portillo states in a statement “This series will explain the hideous ructions over Britain’s place in Europe, which mirror the division in the nation.
Portillo interviews and speaks with a wide array of Tories past and present, including Boris Johnston, Michael Hague, George Osborne, Michael Heseltine and William Hague as he seeks out to understand the direction in which the party has been taken and how the rifts have developed.
Going back to pre-2016 he explores what led David Cameron to call the in/out referendum and the diatribe that followed in trying to execute what many believed was never going to happen, he also explores Theresa May’s resignation.
With the leadership race coming to an end with two completely different personalities, and some ministers declaring they will resign if Boris Johnson is chosen, the Tories are a party in crisis and seemingly with no one to blame but themselves.
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