Weekly Round-Up 22 July 2022

Two weeks ago, Conservative Party MPs voted to oust Boris Johnson saying he couldn’t be trusted to be our Prime Minister anymore. On Monday night, at about 10pm, 342 of them voted to have confidence in the Prime Minister and his government. Yes, you read that right. Within two weeks of baying for him to leave they quickly regrouped to support him to save themselves from a General Election.

It’s clear that the Conservative Party has run out of ideas and the country has run out of faith in them. I voted no confidence in the Government because it is clear that whoever takes over from Boris Johnson does not have a mandate to govern and will be unable to solve the issues facing the country.

Indeed, the result of the Conservative Party MPs ballots shows they are divided from top to bottom. Liz Truss and Rishi Sunak will now parade themselves in front of an estimated 200,000 Conservative Party members this summer. This vote will decide the Prime Minister for the entire country.

When we hear the policy ‘solutions’ – and I use that term in the loosest sense – from Sunak and Truss we hear of dogmatic answers to the wrong questions. Unfunded spending commitment and tax cuts will not solve inflation nor the growing national debt racked up by the Government in the past 12 years. Today we discovered that national debt interest repayments have now hit £19.4bn – that’s up over £10bn from last June. It’s clear that the Conservative contenders to be Prime Minister are not going to be responsible with taxpayers’ money.

This week the Public Administration and Constitutional Affairs Committee launched its new inquiry into non-executive directors with questions from experts. The session explored the activities, appointment process and accountability mechanisms for non-executives, hearing from experts who have carried out research in this area at the Institute for Government, University College London Constitution Unit and Commission for Smart Government.

Non-executives are appointed by Secretaries of State to sit on the boards of government departments and provide challenge on departmental performance and delivery. The Committee’s inquiry was launched in June to examine a lack of transparency around their activities, influence, and effectiveness in UK Government governance structures.

It was also Health Questions this week. I pressed minister on why the Government barely mentioned social care when responding to the Urgent Question on ambulance waiting times. The Government’s approach to healthcare is short-sighted as they fail to ever consider social care properly. If we don’t tackle the chronic understaffing in social care or the broken model it is based upon, we will not solve the NHS waiting times.

Parliament has now gone into Summer Recess. What that means is the Commons, the Committees and all the other aspects of legislative scrutiny will now go on pause until September when the schools return. However, work will continue in the office supporting constituents.

There will be no more weekly round-ups until September when Parliament returns, but please do keep in touch.

If there are issues you want to raise with me as your local MP, please get in touch by emailing karin.smyth.mp@parliament.uk or by calling 0117 953 3575.