EXCL Gavin Williamson accused of 'rank hypocrisy' over council spending cuts petition

Posted On: 
8th March 2018

Labour has accused Gavin Williamson of taking the public for "fools" after he posted a petition urging his Conservative-run council to halt cuts to bus services.

Gavin Williamson was roundly mocked for the petition he set up himself
PA Images

The Defence Secretary said slashing the transport links in his South Staffordshire constituency would have a "highly negative effect on residents".

But Labour accused the Cabinet minister of "rank hypocrisy" for being part of a government which has imposed spending cuts on local councils.

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Mr Williamson set up the petition titled 'Restore vital bus services across South Staffordshire' - but so far only 130 people have signed it.

He said he was "alarmed" by a number of service cuts and complained that some constituents have no access to a Sunday service.

But Shadow Cabinet Minister Jon Trickett laid into the MP - highlighting that the Government has cut local authority funding by almost 50% since 2010.

"It is rank hypocrisy that Gavin Williamson has created a petition to oppose cuts locally, when he is at the centre of the Government imposing these very cuts on communities like those in his constituency," he told PoliticsHome.

"No matter how hard he tries, Gavin Williamson cannot hide from the fact that he sits round the Cabinet table with the Prime Minister every week deciding where cuts falls.

"The people of South Staffordshire will not be treated as fools this way."

Leeds MP and Shadow Justice Secretary Richard Burgon also took to Twitter to mock the Cabinet minister.

And one Twitter user advised Mr Williamson that he should try writing a strongly worded letter to his MP.

Laur Moss posted a message on the petition page saying: "Tory cuts - austerity - created this problem. Gavin supports austerity.

"Therefore Gav helped create / cause lack of buses. If you want buses, get rid of him next election."

And Amy Bishop added: "The irony is that if Gavin Williamson MP hadn’t voted for cuts to council budgets, he probably wouldn’t have needed to set up this petition."