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Tory think tank boss steps down over party betrayal of millennials

The head of an influential conservative think tank is leaving, accusing his party of betraying millennials who have no hope of a ‘good life’.

Ryan Shorthouse, who founded Bright Blue in 2014, said the Tories had “failed my generation” on the cost of housing and childcare – despite having “12 years to fix these things”.

He pointed to the failed Brexit and Liz Truss’ disastrous mini-budget as factors behind a return to austerity that he predicted would keep the Conservatives out of power for two terms.

And he argued that there is no sign of Rishi Sunak reversing it, saying, “He just moved the sun loungers around himself with the same people who have been in charge for a long time.”

Bright Blue is a think tank for party modernists, born out of David Cameron’s attempts to transform the party, which has become increasingly critical of its shift to the right under successive prime ministers.

Mr Shorthouse said: “The Tory government has failed my generation – the millennials – who have come of age and entered the workforce under the Tories for 12 years by penalizing the cost of housing and childcare – combined with stagnant wages – preventing them from building elements of what the Conservatives believe that they make a good life.

“In the 00s, millennials entering the workforce were excited by Cameron’s Conservatives representing a purpose-driven, social enterprise that had been completely lost.”

He said GuardianThey’ve had 12 years to fix these things, and the cost of renting and owning a house is as high as ever. The costs of starting a family, especially women’s earnings, but also the costs of childcare, are very severe.’

Mr Shorthouse, 37, said there were “global factors” behind the return to austerity, but added: “Some of it has to do with Tory party policies, in particular the mini-budget, but also Brexit has had a huge impact.

“A lot of people just won’t forgive the Tories for another round of austerity, which is going to be quite painful.”

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