Nicky Morgan delivered a speech to Tory conference that was lacking in new policies or announcements, but strong on equality. Wearing her other hat as Minister for Women and Equalities, Morgan went on the attack and lambasted Labour for its policies — in particular the lack of women in senior posts:
‘Equality for us isn’t about quotas, pink vans or separate train carriages. Instead, it’s about that core Conservative philosophy which says the fact that you happen to be a woman, to be gay, to be from an ethnic minority, should never be a barrier to you achieving your all.
‘And unlike the Labour Party we practise what we preach. Because women are the backbone of this party and unlike Jeremy Corbyn we have put them at the forefront of this Government. That belief in equality of opportunity has been our guiding principle for the past five years’,
Morgan also cracked a joke about her dual role in government:
‘You know what they say “if you want a job done well ask a busy man”. You might also say “if you want two jobs done well ask a busy woman”.
But on education, her main policy area, there was not much she said was particularly inspiring — Morgan did say that free schools and academies will continue. Her comments about running for the Tory leadership — and a row over free school meals — have riled some in her party, so she may have taken the advice from a No.10 source, who told The Sun ‘it’s time for her to get back in her fish tank’ (a reference to new nick name Nimo) and given a low key speech. Judging by the number of empty seats in the hall, it seems that Tory activists aren’t particularly enthusiastic about the prospect of a Morgan candidacy either.