In the private cigar rooms and whisky bars of Mayfair, rebellion is smouldering.
Libertarian Conservative donors who backed Boris Johnson in the 2019 general election, hoping he would deliver a low-tax, lightly regulated version of Britain after Brexit, are bitterly disappointed by the Tories’ lurch to the left on fiscal issues. Last week’s confirmation of a new £12 billion annual levy on earnings to fund health and social care came on top of chancellor Rishi Sunak’s announcement in March that corporation tax would rise from 19 per cent to 25 per cent by 2023.
Defending the manifesto-breaking increase in national insurance contributions, Johnson said that “a global pandemic wasn’t in our manifesto either”. While most backers are sympathetic to the demands placed on the Treasury