Party and Nation

“The Conservative Party is the national party or it is nothing”, Disraeli famously declared in 1867. Its duty to represent the interests of the whole nation was, however, first set out by the man whose career Disraeli destroyed, Sir Robert Peel, as Alistair Lexden pointed out in a letter in The Daily Telegraph on July 26.

SIR - Although, as Jeremy Black points out (Comment, July 25), Peel lost his snap election in 1835, it was the occasion of his famous Tamworth Manifesto in which he promised “just and impartial consideration of what is due to all interests—agricultural, manufacturing and commercial”.    

This was the first time that the modern Conservative Party had pledged itself to the cause of national unity, of which Mr Johnson is now the custodian.

Lord Lexden
London SW1