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Cornerstone Group
Motto Faith, Flag and Family
Formation 2005
Type Conservative Party faction
Headquarters United Kingdom
Key people Edward Leigh
John Henry Hayes
Website The Cornerstone Group

The Cornerstone Group is a socially conservative or traditional conservative political faction within the British Conservative Party. The group emphasizes traditional values, exemplified by the motto of principles: Faith, Flag, and Family. It consists of Members of Parliament with a traditionalist stance, and was founded in 2005. Currently the Cornerstone Group is led by its president Edward Leigh and chairman John Hayes. There are around thirty Conservative Party Members of Parliament who belong to the group at present.

Within the Conservative Party there are three main factions; along with the traditional leaning Cornerstone Group there are also the One Nation Conservatism and Thatcherite elements. There is sometimes an overlap between these groups, depending on certain issues. The Cornerstone Group supports the unitary governance of the British state and opposes attempts to transfer power away from it — either downward to regionalisms in the shape of devolution, or upwards to the international control of the European Union. A manifesto released around the time of foundation set out its intentions:[1]

We believe that these values must be stressed: tradition; nation; family; religious ethics; free enterprise. We want to use the leadership election to argue for principles and policies, not about personalities. We must seize the centre ground and pull it kicking and screaming towards us. That is the only way to demolish the foundations of the liberal establishment and demonstrate to the electorate the fundamental flaws on which it is based.
Strange Desertion of Tory Britain: The Conservative Alternative to the Liberal Orthodoxy, July 2005



The name stems from its support for three British social institutions: the Church of England, the unitary British state, and the family. To this end, they emphasise England's Anglican heritage (although many are looking to Roman Catholicism in the wake of increasing liberalism in the Church of England), oppose any transfer of power away from the United Kingdom -- either downwards to the nations and regions or upwards to the European Union -- and seek to place greater emphasis on traditional family structures to repair what they see as a broken society in Britain.

They oppose high levels of immigration into the UK. Some members also support capital punishment. Prominent MPs from this wing of the party include Owen Paterson and Edward Leigh—himself a prominent Roman Catholic, notable in a faction marked out by its support for the established Church of England. Alan Duncan once referred to this wing as a "Taliban tendency" within the party. The conservative English philosopher Roger Scruton represents the intellectual wing of the Cornerstone Group: his writings rarely touch on economics and instead concentrate on providing conservative perspectives on political, social, cultural and moral issues.


Below are the current MPs who are part of the Cornerstone Group, as listed on the organisation's website.[2]

Member Constituency MP since
Edward Leigh Gainsborough 1983
John Henry Hayes South Holland and the Deepings 1997
Brian Binley Northampton South 2005
Nadine Dorries Mid Bedfordshire 2005
Charles Walker Broxbourne 2005
David TC Davies Monmouth 2005
Stephen Crabb Preseli Pembrokeshire 2005
David Burrowes Enfield Southgate 2005
Julian Brazier Canterbury 1987
Greg Hands Hammersmith and Fulham 2005
Owen Paterson North Shropshire 1997
David Jones Clwyd West 2005
David Amess Southend West 1997 (prev. 1983)[3]
Ian Liddell-Grainger Bridgwater 2001
Bill Cash Stone 1997 (prev. 1984)[4]
John Redwood Wokingham 1987
Laurence Robertson Tewkesbury 1997
John Whittingdale Maldon and East Chelmsford 1997 (prev. 1992)[5]
Philip Davies Shipley 2005
Philip Hollobone Kettering 2005
Christopher Fraser South West Norfolk 2005 (prev. 1997)[6]
Christopher Chope Christchurch 1997 (prev. 1983)[7]
Peter Bone Wellingborough 2005
Lee Scott Ilford North 2005
Andrew Turner Isle of Wight 2001
Douglas Carswell Harwich 2005
Robert Goodwill Scarborough and Whitby 2005
Adam Holloway Gravesham 2005
Daniel Kawczynski Shrewsbury and Atcham 2005
Greg Knight East Yorkshire 2001 (prev. 1983)[8]
Andrew Rosindell Romford 2001

See also


  1. ^ "Conservative MPs call for 'moral values' agenda". 25 June 2005.  
  2. ^ "Who we are". Cornerstone Group. 14 September 2008.  
  3. ^ Amess was MP for Basildon from 1983 until 1997
  4. ^ Cash was MP for Stafford from 1984 until 1997
  5. ^ Whittingdale was MP for South Colchester and Maldon from 1992 until 1997
  6. ^ Fraser was MP for Mid Dorset and North Poole from 1997 until 2001
  7. ^ Chope was MP for Southampton Itchen from 1983 until 1992
  8. ^ Knight was MP for Derby North from 1983 until 1997

External links



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