Theresa May isn't looking so strong and stable now – do we really want her leading us into the Brexit negotiations?

The Tory manifesto was agreed and written by a small group of people, with Cabinet ministers kept out of the frame. What sort of deal can we hope to achieve if the Prime Minister won’t even listen to her closest colleagues?

Liam Young
Monday 22 May 2017 16:26
May has U-turned on the so-called 'dementia tax'
May has U-turned on the so-called 'dementia tax'

Theresa May said that the case for remaining in the European Union was “strong” before lurching to the far-right Brexit camp. She said there would be no early general election before calling one. She U-turned on the budget, abandoned her pledge to welcome more refugee children and has now scurried to abandon the flagship policy of her own manifesto.

Never mind strong and stable – this is nothing more than a weak and wobbly Prime Minister whose party is beyond incompetence and wholly out-of-touch with modern life in this country.

Over the weekend the Tories moved to buy “dementia tax” adverts on Google to numb the pain of their latest policy. After hearing the anger of elderly voters for herself, it appears Ms May is having a bit of a panic.

After sending government ministers onto the airwaves to defend the policy just yesterday, the Tories have rewritten their manifesto less than a week after announcing it. Damian Green even argued against the very principle of a cap yesterday on Andrew Marr, only to be shown up by his boss just a day later. Though the theatrics of this about-turn are certainly entertaining, there’s a few more serious points to the matter.

The Prime Minister said that her change of heart was about “detail” and not “principle”. But this cannot be true. The imposition of a cap means that those in the middle who own homes around the national average house price will be worst hit. And as with any Tory policy, it is those at the very top who will benefit from this inept reversal.

It is important to remember that Ms May called this election because she believed it was the only way we could achieve a good deal from the European Union. But does she believe that we will see that as the case? The leaders of our fellow European nations are annoyed enough already. I highly doubt that Ms May’s dithering will achieve anything during the Brexit negotiations. Her flip-flopping will only generate greater uncertainty and will leave us in a worse position than before.

Theresa May flustered by constant questions over 'dementia tax'

It was only earlier this month that we learned of Ms May’s cataclysmic meeting with Jean-Claude Juncker, the president of the European Commission, in which the President said he left Britain “10 times more sceptical than [he] was before.” The European account of the meeting, released by Frankfurter Allgemeine reported that Ms May appeared as though she hadn’t been briefed. It was reported that the day after the meeting Mr Juncker called Angela Merkel and told her that the Prime Minister was living “in another galaxy.” How fitting.

We learned over the weekend that much of the Tory manifesto was agreed and written by a small group of people – with key cabinet ministers kept out of the frame. What sort of deal can we hope to achieve if the Prime Minister won’t even listen to her closest colleagues? We are in danger of handing power to a candidate who believes that she alone knows best. As this latest U-turn shows, that simply isn’t the case.

Despite this U-turn, Tory policy remains unclear. There has been no announcement of where the cap will sit or how much it will cost the implement. The Prime Minister had the audacity to call Jeremy Corbyn a “shambles” moments before revealing an uncosted manifesto.

It becomes more evident by the day that Ms May is wholly incapable of leading this country into the future. Her domestic agenda is broken and her record suggests that she will achieve nothing with the EU. It’s time that her strong and stable rhetoric was dismissed for good and revealed for what it is.

Register for free to continue reading

Registration is a free and easy way to support our truly independent journalism

By registering, you will also enjoy limited access to Premium articles, exclusive newsletters, commenting, and virtual events with our leading journalists

Already have an account? sign in

By clicking ‘Register’ you confirm that your data has been entered correctly and you have read and agree to our Terms of use, Cookie policy and Privacy notice.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy policy and Terms of service apply.

Join our new commenting forum

Join thought-provoking conversations, follow other Independent readers and see their replies


Thank you for registering

Please refresh the page or navigate to another page on the site to be automatically logged inPlease refresh your browser to be logged in