Well, what a week it’s been. On Thursday, the Prime Minister resigned after just 44 days in office and announced that a new Tory leader would be chosen within a week in a shortened leadership contest. Cue a weekend of more Tory psychodrama.
Would Boris run? Did he have the necessary support to among his own MPs? Could a deal be struck between the candidates? Leadership speculation dominated the news. Finally, on Monday, the smoke cleared, and Rishi Sunak was elected by Tory members as the next Prime Minister.
Throughout this sorry process, Tory MPs bickered over which candidate would ‘unite the party’ and please the various factions battling it out within the Conservative Party. Precious little was said about the country itself, and how the Conservatives will help ordinary people terrified about what the future holds.
This is why, despite the Tory pantomime, nothing much has changed. We have another Prime Minister – installed by their party – in Number 10. Working people are still struggling to put food on the table, food bank use is still rising, and NHS waiting lists are still at record highs. The economic and social damage done by 12 years of Tory rule is still clear for all to see. You wouldn’t trust an arsonist to put out a fire, and I don’t trust the Tories to get us out of the mess they caused.
It’s clear to me that we need a change. Sunak becomes the third Prime Minister this year alone and will pursue an agenda very different to that of his predecessors. The mandate given to the Tory party in 2019 is non-existent.
I know that people in Tameside are fed up. Fed up with seeing their public services suffer from 12 years of neglect and mismanagement. Fed up with working hard and still not seeing their pay packet reflect the cost of living. I want a government that stands up for people in Tameside and makes a difference to people’s day to day lives.
The contrast between Labour and the Tories couldn’t be clearer. We’ve promised to invest in well-paid jobs; help parents with free breakfast clubs for children; expand the NHS workforce so people get care when they need it; nationalise the railways; improve the rental sector and get more people on the housing ladder just to name a few. The Tories response to this fully costed and transformative Labour policy platform? More bickering, more drama, more of the same.
The Tories’ time is up. They must call a General Election. Now.