Mon, 27 May 2024

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By Baroness Smith of Llanfaes
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If Tory MPs allow Johnson to squat in No 10, Labour will bring a vote of no confidence

Credit: Stephen Chung / Alamy Live News

4 min read

At the end of a tumultuous week in British politics, one thing remains unchanged: Boris Johnson is still Prime Minister.

After months of sleaze and scandal, he has been dragged kicking and screaming to resign. Yet by allowing him to squat in Downing Street for months to come, making the most of the flat that he asked Tory donors to spend hundreds of thousands of pounds to refurbish, his MPs continue to show a lack of dignity and respect for the British people.

Boris Johnson is unfit to lead the Conservative Party, and he is certainly unfit to govern the United Kingdom. So next week, if the Conservatives refuse to make this disgraced, law-breaking Prime Minister pack his bags and vacate Downing Street immediately, Labour will act in the national interest and bring a vote of no confidence to force him out.

We don’t just need a change at the top – we need a change of government

The Conservative Party has already inflicted chaos upon the country when it should be focussing on tackling the worst cost-of-living crisis in decades. Now, instead of getting a grip on that crisis, the Conservatives are about to enter into months of psychodrama while they choose yet another leader. Ministers who wouldn’t have dreamed of serving under Johnson just a few days ago have now eagerly signed up to the Cabinet to boost their own profiles. 

Soon they will be tearing strips off each other and attacking each other’s records in government. Meanwhile, there will be no new policies to tackle the problems Britain faces until a new Prime Minister is installed. Backlog Britain stands to get much worse than it already is under the Conservatives.

This is a recipe for more chaos and division. Britain deserves better – and the British people simply cannot afford to wait for the Conservatives to get their act together. The current shambles extends well beyond the personal failures of one man. Under the Conservatives, we have had 12 years of economic stagnation, 12 years of declining public services, and 12 years of empty promises. After 12 years of the Conservatives, Britain needs a fresh start. And that means we don’t just need a change at the top – we need a change of government. So Labour will act in the national interest next week and call a vote of no confidence in this rotten Conservative government.

A Labour government can deliver the change Britain needs. Where the Conservatives have failed, we will turn things around. Instead of the high-tax, low-growth economy that they have built, Labour will get Britain firing on all cylinders again, with a plan for growth and a stronger, more secure economy that tackles the cost of living crisis at its root.

We will ensure that Britain becomes energy secure – by doubling onshore wind, tripling solar and ending the delay on new nuclear. We’ll ensure economic security for families, by launching a mass home insulation programme to get bills down, not just this year, but every year. And we’d ensure security of supply chains by buying, making and selling much more in our own country – awarding more contracts to British businesses, creating more jobs across the country and making sure that the economic benefits of decarbonisation are felt here at home.

Our landmark climate investment pledge will deliver good jobs across our country, supporting the technologies where Britain can and must lead the world. And we would revitalise our key public services so that they work from the start, preventing problems as well as tackling them so that we can deliver safe and secure communities for generations to come.

The Conservatives are out of ideas, out of road and out of time. Only Labour can deliver what Britain needs in this time of crisis. It’s time for a fresh start. It’s time for a Labour government.

Anneliese Dodds is chair of the Labour Party, Shadow Secretary of State for Women and Equalities, and MP for Oxford East

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