As many of you will know, I wasn’t able to head down to Westminster last week as I was caring for my Dad.
At my home in Denton, I watched – as I’m sure many people did – the chaos in Westminster unfold with my jaw on the floor. The whole week was pretty surreal, so it’s worth taking a step back to unpick what exactly happened.
After it was revealed that the Prime Minister did in fact know about allegations involving the Conservative MP Chris Pincher before promoting him, he lost the support of his Cabinet. Last Tuesday, the Chancellor and Health Secretary quit within minutes of each other, and it seemed obvious to all that the Prime Minister would now be forced to resign.
Obvious to all except the Prime Minister, that is. Instead, he attempted to cling on. When he finally resigned on Thursday, over a third of the Government had quit in protest.
It’s easy to get caught up in the political intrigue of the past week, but what’s been overlooked is the impact that this chaos has had on the business of Government. When staff in my Westminster Office came into work on Thursday morning, there was not a single Minister from the House of Commons left in the Department for Education. The Government was scrambling to cancel important debates and pieces of legislation because there simply wasn’t anyone left in Government to do it. Everything ground to a halt, all because one man couldn’t accept that the jig was up.
It’s hard to sum up how angry this all made me. We’re in the middle of a cost-of-living crisis. People in Tameside are struggling to put food on the table, and instead of doing something about it the Government dropped its responsibilities and has now left the country in limbo.
Now that the Prime Minister has resigned, we’ll hear a lot of Tories trying to distance themselves from him. They can’t be allowed to do that. Tory MPs supported the Prime Minister when he tried to protect Owen Patterson after he was found guilty of lobbying, they supported him when he stood up in Parliament and said that ‘guidance was followed at all times’ and no parties occurred in Number 10.
They are just as responsible for the failings of the Johnson administration as the man himself, and are just as responsible for the 12 years of Tory Government that has seen living standards drop and wages stagnate.
It’s all so frustrating because I know that the Labour Party stands ready and waiting to provide stable and transformational Government. People are crying out for change, and it’s time they got it.