Emma Lewell-Buck MP: We are all paying the price for a weak PM

Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt. Picture by Stefan Rousseau/PA Wire
Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt. Picture by Stefan Rousseau/PA Wire
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Earlier this week we saw the Prime Minister announce her Cabinet reshuffle, apparently in an effort to make her top team look more like the country it represents.

The whole episode was a disaster, leaving her top team even less reflective of our country with an increase of privately educated Cabinet members and Ministers.

The two appointments that have caused despair are the promotion of Jeremy Hunt as Secretary of State for Health and Social Care and the appointment of Esther McVey as Secretary of State for Work and Pensions.

McVey represents all that is nasty about the nasty party, a woman who learnt her trade under the watchful evil eye of Iain Duncan Smith.

Her appointment is an utter betrayal of those disabled people she treated with such disdain and does not bode well for any of us.

Her opinion of foodbanks is that, “In the UK it is right that, you know, more people are visiting – as you would expect – going to foodbanks, because as times are tough.”

Jeremy Hunt, after refusing another position, was promoted so that instead of just causing untold damage to our NHS, he now has social care explicitly within his brief.

This appointment is a kick in the teeth for the dedicated staff who work within our NHS and has caused alarm in the social care sector.

Under Hunt’s watch we are hearing stories of the NHS being plunged further into crisis, people left to wait hours in corridors, ambulances log queuing at A&E for hours, waiting times at record levels, operations cancelled up and down the country and chronic underfunding.

This reshuffle was an opportunity for May to show she was genuine when she stood on the steps of Downing Street after taking office and said it was her mission to “build a better Britain” and vowed to lead a “one nation” government that “works for all and not just the privileged few”.

However, with resignations and Hunt refusing to budge, Mrs May was exposed as too weak to push through the changes she wanted.

So 2018 begins with an even further weakened PM, it would seem every time she tries to strengthen her position the result is more damage, just how much longer can she carry on?

The problem is we are all paying the price.