Imperial measurements ‘not the visionary policy we need’, says Tobias Ellwood

Imperial measurements ‘not the visionary policy we need’, says Tobias Ellwood


ringing back imperial measurements is far from the “visionary, progressive” thinking that the Conservative Party requires, a senior Tory MP has said.

Tobias Ellwood, MP for Bournemouth East, said the policy was not “one-nation Conservative thinking”.

Boris Johnson is poised to announce a consultation into how to further reincorporate imperial measurements in Britain to coincide with the Queen’s Platinum Jubilee.

Since 2000, traders have been legally required to use metric units for sale-by-weight or the measure of fresh produce as part of an EU directive. It remains legal to price goods in pounds and ounces but they must be displayed alongside grams and kilograms.

Mr Ellwood, the chairman of the Commons Defence Committee, suggested the policy was an attempt to “shore up and chase a slice off the electorate”.

He told Sky News: “There will be some people in our party which will like this nostalgic policy in the hope that it’s enough to win the next election.

“But this is not the case. This is not one-nation Conservative thinking that is required to appeal beyond our base.

“It’s far from the inspirational, visionary progressive thinking that we require. And it fits into a pattern I am afraid of micro-announcements that are increasingly thrown out there, which actually is sowing further discontent with more MPs.”

Mr Ellwood has previously called on the prime minister to resign over the partygate scandal, saying it had “eroded” the trust of the British people.

He claimed his party was “in denial” over the scale of public anger following revelations of lockdown breaches in No10.

“The party is increasingly in a difficult place. This is going to be a testing summer, polling is now saying we could lose 90 seats,” he said.

“And we still seem to be in denial. It’s time to shake off this partisan Stockholm Syndrome, I believe.

“Our party brand is suffering. We will lose the next election on current trajectory as reflected in recent elections by local elections.”

Boris Johnson last week defied calls to resign following the publication of the explosive Sue Gray report into gatherings held in Downing Street during lockdown. It detailed incidents of staff members vomiting while drunk, red wine being spilt up walls and cleaning staff at No10 receiving verbal abuse.

A total of 24 Conservative MPs have publicly called on Mr Johnson to resign.

However, the threshold of 54 letters which must be delivered to 1922 Committee Chairman Sir Graham Brady to trigger a confidence vote has not yet been passed.