Jon Trickett MP: May's chaotic General Election was a sign of things to come
Far from providing the strength and stability we were promised, all we’ve seen is weakness and failure, says Shadow Cabinet Office Minister Jon Trickett.
It’s been a year since Theresa May announced an election she promised she wouldn’t call, followed by a result she wasn’t expecting. A disastrous campaign, littered with U-turns and broken promises, resulted in the Tories losing 13 seats and with it their majority. Instead of a year to remember, this has turned out to be a year Theresa May wishes she could forget and one that’s held the country back.
And her chaotic election campaign was a sign of what was to come. Far from providing the strength and stability we were promised, all we’ve seen is weakness and failure. Just this week, the Government’s shameful handling of the Windrush citizens has further highlighted Theresa May’s systemic lack of action and refusal to do the right thing.
Over the past year, this Tory Government has failed to provide enough support for our NHS, for our police services, for our education system, and has failed to tackle a crisis in living standards.
The Tories oversaw the worst ever NHS performance this winter, as one in five NHS hospitals ran out of beds, tens of thousands of patients had their operations cancelled across England and February was revealed to have had the worst A&E waiting times on record. In addition, shockingly, there were 10,000 additional deaths in the first weeks of 2018 compared with the average over the last five years.
Despite this, Theresa May insisted that the NHS was “better prepared than ever” this winter. Try telling that to the patients who suffered as a result of this Government’s inaction to protect our NHS.
Our education system continues to suffer under the Tories, and this year the Government was taken to task on failing to get a grip on teacher retention, which could see class sizes soar.
The past 12 months has seen the highest level of recorded crime in a decade, as the Tories slashed the police by 21,000, which saw officer numbers at the lowest level since comparable records began in 1996. In a damning leaked report from the Home Office, it said that the police cuts “likely contributed” to a rise in violent crime.
We have seen the UK become the slowest growing of all the G7 economies, impacting wage growth. Astonishingly, real wages today are still lower than they were in 2010, and child poverty is at crisis point, with harrowing reports that hungry children are filling their pockets with food from school.
Instead of providing strong leadership, the Tories have abandoned promises and focused on themselves rather than what’s right for the country. A lack of decisive action has led to 12 months of delay, broken promises and prevarication. After a year of weakness and failure, it’s clear that Britain needs an alternative. Only a Labour Government will protect our vital services, tackle the cost of living crisis and build a country that works for the many, not the few.
Jon Trickett is the Labour Member of Parliament for Hemsworth, and is the Shadow Minister for the Cabinet Office.