Monday, January 24, 2022

PM is “unable to lead,” Starmer says, following accusations from the party

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Rule-breaking allegations surrounding the Prime Minister and Downing Street have rendered Boris Johnson “unable to lead,” Labor leader will say.

Sir Keir Starmer, in a speech at the Fabian Society conference, is preparing to accuse the Conservatives of shutting down health services and the Prime Minister of being “too busy defending his rule-breaking” to reverse it.

It follows a week in which Mr Johnson was urged to resign by Tory MPs after he admitted attending a ‘bring your own booze’ event at No 10 Garden during the first coronavirus lockdown in May 2020.

That gathering – which the Prime Minister described to the House of Commons as a “working event” – and a host of other allegations of breaches of lockdown rules in the government are currently being investigated by senior official Sue Gray.

On Saturday, Sir Keir is set to begin his “personal crusade” for NHS reform, accusing subsequent Tory-led governments of leaving the health service in a “critical state”.

Sir Keir will say: “Rather than focus on getting through the pandemic and cutting waiting lists, this complacent Tory party is instead bickering over a leader they should have known from the start was unfit for office is.

“We are witnessing the broken spectacle of a Prime Minister mired in fraud and deception, incapable of leading.

“When we left office 12 years ago, the Conservatives inherited a strong NHS.

“The waiting times were the shortest since records began. Today, NHS waiting lists are the highest on record.

“And blaming it on Covid isn’t good enough – this mess has been going on for a lot longer.

“This government has to take responsibility. Why are we at this point where the NHS itself is in critical condition?’

The opposition leader will use the conference speech to describe his vision of a “Better Health Contract” to give people “the security, prosperity and respect they deserve” under a Labor government.

Those changes include ensuring “a healthcare system that’s a little less about the system and a lot more about the patient”, with healthcare moving towards prevention to reflect “Britain’s older society”, according to party officials.

Sir Keir will make mental health commitments, promising that the next Labor government will take mental health as seriously as physical health and will guarantee mental health support in less than a month.

He is expected to add: “It’s obvious the NHS needs more money. But that’s not all it takes.

“When we were in government we started to reform the NHS – to make it more patient centric, to make it meet the needs of the time.

“This reform process has stalled because this Government doesn’t care if the NHS falls behind.

“Boris Johnson is too busy defending his rule-breaking.”

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