WATCH: Tory MP suggests new homeless shelter is a sign of economic success

Posted On: 
24th October 2018

A Conservative MP has been blasted for suggesting that a new homeless shelter in his constituency was proof it had not been affected by spending cuts.

Mr Graham made the remarks during PMQs
Credit: 
ParliamentTV

Richard Graham was accused of being “out of touch with reality” by Labour after he appeared to claim that the opening of a new homeless centre in his constituency was a sign that it had not "suffered from austerity".

Speaking at PMQ’s, the Gloucester MP said: “Last week the Shadow Chancellor visited Gloucester, saying that my constituency had suffered from austerity. In fact, Labour's high unemployment has been slashed. Investment, manufacturing and apprenticeships are strongly up, a new centre for the homeless established, two NHS trusts rated good….

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"Does the Prime Minister agree that although we must do more, all we have achieved so farould be severely damaged if the opposition leadership had their chance of impose on us again economic bankruptcy and constituency better off in benefits than in work?"

Theresa May said the MP was "absolutely right", adding: “We see employment at a near record high… youth unemployment at a new record low and real wages rising.”

But Labour MP Chris Williamson told PoliticsHome the comments were an “absurd assertion” that showed "how out of touch with reality these Tories really are".

He added: “The truth is austerity has led to an explosion in precarious, low paid, part time unemployment and a housing crisis which has caused street homelessness in every town and city in the country.

"None of this is necessary. With the political will, Britain could eradicate homelessness and create secure well-paid employment for every working age citizen as well as enabling people to retire in time to enjoy their retirement.”