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Amendment of the Law

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 3:11 pm on 24th March 2011.

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Photo of Sam Gyimah Sam Gyimah Conservative, East Surrey 3:11 pm, 24th March 2011

I have sat here today with a sense of déjà vu, first because I sat here yesterday for a number of hours and did not make it into the debate—as it wore on today I felt that the same thing was going to happen—and secondly because of the arguments from the Opposition, especially those put forward by Ed Balls. If we were to listen to him and completely ignore the fact that we had a general election in which they lost and we won and formed a coalition Government—[ Interruption. ] The British people clearly did not believe that Labour’s stewardship of the economy had been exemplary, which is why they were kicked out of office. That is why in places such as Erewash, a seat that Labour won in 1997, we had a 10% swing back to the Conservatives. Let us not allow Labour to pretend that their stewardship of the economy was somehow exemplary. Until they learn to accept, in front of the British public, that they made mistakes, they do not have the credibility to be part of the economic argument. Let us not allow the right hon. Gentleman to rewrite history.

I will take up the gauntlet laid down by Mr Foster. Rather than allowing Labour to push us into debating the fiscal plan that we set out last year and the implications for growth and interest rates now, let us talk about some of the excellent measures that are in “The Plan for Growth”, because Government Members owe it to the British people to explain them rather than letting the Opposition muddy the water on what happened in 2008-09, when they clearly mismanaged the economy and were kicked out of office.