London Mayor Boris Johnson highlighted celebrity chef Jamie Oliver's comments about the work ethic of British young people during his conference speech.
Mr Oliver praised European immigrants in August, saying they are much "tougher" workers than the "wet behind the ears" young Brits.
Mr Johnson asked delegates, "What if he has half a point? Or a quarter of a point?"
He said if that indeed was the case, "don't we need Iain Duncan Smith to get on reforming the welfare system and ensuring you're always better off in work than out of it?"
"And if it's to do with education ... then don't we need Michael Gove to get on with his heroic work of restoring rigour and realism to the classroom?"