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No Confidence in Her Majesty’s Government

Part of Business of the House (Today) – in the House of Commons at 3:20 pm on 16th January 2019.

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Photo of Angela Eagle Angela Eagle Labour, Wallasey 3:20 pm, 16th January 2019

I entirely agree, and some of the imbalances caused by that Government in the way our unwritten constitution works need to be addressed.

The Prime Minister decided to kowtow to her own Brextremists rather than reach out. She tried to exclude Parliament from the process completely. She triggered article 50 without a plan and then called a general election which shattered her own majority—but of course she is doing her best to avoid a general election now.

The UK is now angrier, more divided and more fearful for the future than I have ever known it, and democracy itself is being questioned. Instead of trying to bring the country back together by reaching out, the Prime Minister has set herself up as the embodiment of leave voters, ignoring those who voted remain. Yesterday she even dangerously claimed that she is now the champion of “the people” against Parliament. She has failed to unite the country because her only interest is in uniting the Conservative party, and that has proved to be impossible.

This is a Government who do not seem to understand that demanding that people unite around their own partisan viewpoint can never heal divisions. They are not capable of reaching out, listening, compromising, and responding to genuine fears, and as such they are not fit for purpose.

On taking office, the Prime Minister promised to tackle “burning injustices” which made life difficult for those she called “just about managing.” She failed to acknowledge that much of the suffering in our country has been caused by the previous Governments in which she was a senior member. This Government refuse to acknowledge that years of cuts in public expenditure targeted most heavily on the poorest have resulted in much of the suffering and burning injustice she promised to end. The Government have issued countless press releases and have held a series of never-ending consultations on everything from social care, restaurant tips and rogue landlords to domestic violence, but nothing has changed.

Instead the country has been presented with a parade of incompetent Ministers who were simply not up to the job: a Home Secretary forced to resign over the Windrush scandal and the “hostile environment” which saw UK citizens treated like criminals and deported back to countries they had left as small children; and a Transport Secretary handing out shipping contracts to a company with no ships and no access to commercial ports, and who presides over the chaos of the railway timetable disasters and blames everyone but himself—a man who cannot even organise a fake lorry jam on the M20. There have also been three Brexit Secretaries in two years, each of them undermined by the Prime Minister, and then there is perhaps the Prime Minister’s crowning achievement: appointing Boris Johnson as Foreign Secretary—and she wonders why the UK is now a global laughing stock.

This Government are paralysed by their own obsessions. They have proved incapable of addressing a country crying out for change. It is time for them to go.