M-1: Motion of No Confidence in Her Majesty's Government

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M-1: Motion of No Confidence in Her Majesty's Government

Post by Blakesley »

Motion: That this House has no confidence in Her Majesty's Government.

Proposer: The Rt Hon Jeremy Corybn, Leader of Her Majesty's Most Loyal Opposition
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Re: M-1: Motion of No Confidence in Her Majesty's Government

Post by Mark Burton »

Mr. Speaker,

I rise today amidst a nation that has been left behind by the political elites of the opposite benches. This Government, if it can even be afforded such a title, is united by one thing and one thing only: it’s shambolic “me-first” mentality that is tearing at the very fabric of our United Kingdom.

I entered public service for a different reason entirely: I seek to serve the public by providing high-quality services - from health to transport, from education to workforce development, and much more. As an MP, it is never about me, nor should it be about us. The focus of this chamber must be the wellbeing of the British people, first and foremost.

And yet, the Government has put themselves and their pals in the City first time and time again. In the wake of the Great Recession, it would only be natural to support the unemployed and provide top-notch training opportunities while bringing our economy back to life. But for the party opposite, this was not even considered.

Instead, the Cameron Government rejected common sense economics and embraced austerity. They poured cold water on millions of Britons’ aspirations and dreams, and the results went up in flames. Sadly, this is all too real, with the recent Grenfell Tower fire taking the lives of our fellow countrymen and -women. This Government has persisted in underfunding critical investments that keep our people safe. And they have failed to keep up with necessary spending on the National Health Service, resulting in long queues for vital healthcare procedures. If a government cannot keep people safe and healthy, then it has clearly failed in its most-basic mission - and here we are, in 2019, and this Government has failed the British people!

And for what? To provide juicer returns to the bankers down in the City of London? To line their own pockets on the backs of the British working class? “Hyperbole,” the Government benches shout. Well, Mr. Speaker, must I remind this House of the Panama Papers, where the father of the former member for Witney, a Prime Minister once-removed, pocketed untold fortunes abroad without paying the very same taxes they require of the rest of Britain. So, Mr. Speaker, I respond to their cries of hyperbole with a cry of “Hypocrisy!”

This band of hypocritical opportunists have proven time and time again that they are willing to throw convention out the window, willing to abandon their purported principles to climb the ladder of power. First, an issue dear to my own heart as a proud Scotsman and proud Briton: the 2014 referendum in Scotland. In an effort to build national unity, Conservative and allegedly-Unionist Party has divided us more deeply than any time in recent memory. The threats to break up this United Kingdom from the Government benches must never be forgotten.

And, as if they didn’t learn their lesson from dividing us Scots against one another, the Government decided to divide us Britons against one another, into the 52 and 48. Indeed, political opportunism was on full display when the former Prime Minister, once-removed, decided to promise a sure-to-be divisive referendum on membership in the European Union just to gain a step up in the 2015 General Election.

Mr. Speaker, it was not done out of a desire to consult the people. It was not done because it was good policy. It was not done because Brexit would benefit Britain - the 2016 referendum was solely the result of a poorly calculated, “me-first” mentality that pervades the Conservative Party benches in this chamber.

Fast forward a few weeks, and the rat race to succeed the former Member from Witney was in full swing. The nation watched as the now-former Prime Minister was to be crowned after drama between the Rt. Hon. Members from Surrey Heath and Henley erupted in national view. With a single-minded determination to deliver on a Brexit that few in this chamber even wanted, this Government wasn’t able to deliver until the Rt. Hon. Member for Maidenhead promised to stand down!

Now, that isn’t governing. It isn’t leading. Instead, it is fear leading an MP to run away from her own party. Why was the third meaningful vote able to pass? Because members of the opposite bench decided that they could stand to rise through the ranks in a new Cabinet. Once again, it’s all about “me-first” - and unfortunately, that puts the hardworking people of Britain last.

Oh, but we have seen the Rt. Hon. Member for South West Norfolk call our British working class “at the bottom of the G7 pack in terms of work ethic.” That type of language is shameful - and I hope this body joins me in condemning it vigorously. This Government justifies its poor treatment of everyday citizens of our nation by degrading their work ethic! That, Mr. Speaker, is pretty near the final straw for me, having spent much of my pre-political career managing some of the hardest working people I’ve ever known.

I suppose it is fair to say I have never had confidence in this Government - and until we allow the British people the opportunity to kick the opportunists out of office, I will continue to have No Confidence in this Tory Government.

Where then, does my political confidence lay? It is wholly with these benches from which I speak, and entirely with the hardworking British people that I know will reject the rudderless Tory government when given the opportunity. Our agenda is one built for the people, not for the elites. Our agenda is one that will strengthen our institutions, not underfund them. Our agenda is one of unity and union, not of division and separatism.
Mark Burton
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(Formerly Finn Armstrong)
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Re: M-1: Motion of No Confidence in Her Majesty's Government

Post by Hilda Harrington »

Thank you, Mr. Speaker. I stand in this House today, fourteen years after I was first elected, and it pains me to say that this country has, in that time, taken a great leap backward. Our people, the British people, have stood strong and resolute. Our fellow Brits soldier on, but the facts speak for themselves. In 2010, the year that this government took office, the Trussell Trust handed out around 41,000 food bank parcels. In 2017, that number had risen to 1.2m. Now, don’t misunderstand me. 41,000 food parcels in 2010 is far too many to begin with, but for that to rise by more than 2,800% is a statistic that should ring in the ears of all those that intend to vote with this government tonight.

It’s often said that correlation does not always equal causation, and I agree with that, but this government’s reckless approach to helping those in need across our country means that this increase cannot be a coincidence. If you want to know why food bank usage has gone up so exponentially and shows no sign of slowing, then you need only look at the front benches of the party opposite.

You need only look at the fact that, since 2010, poverty has increased across the board and in all walks of life. You need only look at the fact that, since 2010, homelessness has increased by 165%, and now one-fifth of young people in London are homeless. You need only look at the fact that, since 2010, we’ve seen 859 children’s centres closed, 940 youth centres closed, 835 public toilets closed, 1224 subsidised bus routes axed, and subsidised local libraries down by 738. Poverty and food bank usage are not unintended consequences of these policies, they are a direct result of them. These aren’t side effects, these are intended effects. These aren’t bugs, these are features.

Now, as the Prime Minister takes her place on the backbenches and another Prime Minister takes over, how can this legacy be forgotten? How can we allow a new Prime Minister to take office without holding their feet to the fire over the actions of their predecessor? Will the new Prime Minister commit to changing the way the Tories run Britain, or will they simply rearrange the furniture? The fact is that, under the Conservatives, Britain is in freefall. We see people across my city, and across our country, losing hope. And, Mr. Speaker, can you blame them?

We’ve had nearly a decade of the Tories tearing at the very fabric of our democracy and the very foundations upon which our tolerant, equal nation is built. We’ve had two – nearly three – Tory Prime Ministers, and only one has managed to actually win a majority of seats, and he only did it once. We’ve had a nation of people slipping slowly into poverty, and a Tory government that has looked the other way. I don’t blame people for being fed up, Mr. Speaker, I blame the government for making them fed up.

It will come as no surprise to anyone in this House that has been listening to this speech, or indeed those that have paid any attention to my career, that I intend to vote against the government this evening. This government has spent nearly a decade undermining and underfunding the public services that our nation holds dear, all under the guise of fiscal responsibility.

Mr. Speaker, now, more than ever, it is evident that austerity was a political choice. It was a political choice forced onto this country by an ideologically driven Conservative government that was hell-bent on dismantling the very foundations of civilized society. This isn’t hyperbole, Mr. Speaker. It is the final chapter in a decade-long story that I have voted against, spoken against, and campaigned against at every possible opportunity.

The headline figures on poverty and homelessness are bad enough, but the minutiae of this government’s impact upon the lives of people across Britain are just as pernicious. The Bedroom Tax, the hike in tuition fees, the abolition of EMA, the public sector pay freeze, the tax cut for the nation’s richest, the top-down reorganization of the NHS. Every day in every way this Tory government has undermined public confidence and wrought havoc on the institutions that our nation holds dear.

For three years we have focused on our relationship with the European Union, but as the country moves on from Brexit we need to assess the record of this government in the context of wider society. Brexit is done, and now we must focus upon the dismal record of this shambolic Tory government on the issues that matter. I urge colleagues on the opposition benches – yes, even those that are currently working with the government – to look at this government’s record and vote with it in mind. It’s not about Brexit, it’s about Britain, and it’s about the state in which the party opposite leaves our nation.

I have no confidence in this government, Mr. Speaker because I believe the nation has run out of confidence. I don’t stand here today by the grace of God, but by the grace of the hardworking people of Southampton Test who have honoured me with their trust. I don’t vote this evening because of my own ideological leanings, but because, over the last decade, and especially in the last two years, confidence in this government and in the party opposite as a whole has waned.

The party opposite has focused for almost a decade upon stripping back the machinery of the state and arguing that our grandchildren will pay the price tomorrow if we do not pay it today. Mr. Speaker, the Emperor is no longer wearing any clothes. We see through the smoke and mirrors. We see this government for what it truly is: a government based on the ideals of the 1980s run by people that wouldn’t be out of place in the 1880s. Our nation, and our people, deserve better than this.
Major General Hilda Harrington MP
Labour Member of Parliament for Southampton Test [2005 - present]

"Invincibility lies in the defence; the possibility of victory in the attack."
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Re: M-1: Motion of No Confidence in Her Majesty's Government

Post by Pearl MacBay »

Mr. Speaker,

I rise to support the motion from my friend, the Rt. Hon. Leader of the Opposition. Since coming to office in 2010, Mr. Speaker, this government has lurched from crisis to crisis, failing our nation every step of the way.

Weak leadership is the problem, Mr. Speaker. The inability to look down the road and really seek out bold, transformative policy solutions is what has us in this mess Mr. Speaker. Coming to office in 2010, enabled by the Liberal Democrats, our country has experienced nearly a decade of heartless, cruel austerity. The dismantling of the social security net is centre to Conservative government, it seems. Margaret Thatcher's brutal policies were the reason I ran for this place, Mr. Speaker, and the brutal policies of David Cameron and the current Prime Minister, Mr. Speaker, are the reason I am still here. People in my constituency of Great Grimsby, Mr. Speaker, are suffering because of this government and its policies. It is why this motion should be adopted, and it is why this government should be thrown out of office at the ballot box.

A government and indeed a society should be judged by how it treats its most vulnerable. Under that criteria, Mr. Speaker, this government is a failure. In 2017, Mr. Speaker, the Joseph Rowntree Foundation found that almost 400,000 more children and 300,000 more seniors were living in poverty in 2016 than were after 2012-13 when the first increases in children's and pensioner poverty were noted. That is solely the responsibility and record of this government and its policies. Additionally, Speaker, a 2017 analysis from the Institute for Fiscal Studies estimates the number of children living in poverty is set to rise to a record 5.2 million over five years, up from about 4 million at the time the analysis was done. That is the record of David Cameron. That is the record of the Rt. Hon. Prime Minister. And that is the record of the Conservative and Unionist Party government.

But Speaker, let me turn now briefly to the issue of the Referendum and this government's obsession with Europe. Because we didn't have to get to this point. But no, again, Mr. Speaker, the country was used as a means to solve the problems inside the Conservative Party. Scared of UKIP, scared of Nigel Farage and scared of the plotters within his own ranks, Mr. Speaker, David Cameron handed over the decision to the people. And while some may argue that the time had come and the debate needed to be had, let's not kid ourselves. We are not leaving the European Union because of the wise vision of the leaders of the Conservative Party. We are leaving the European Union because they were afraid they would lose votes to Nigel Farage. That's why we're in the state we're in, Mr. Speaker.

Every facet of life has been negatively impacted by this government, Mr. Speaker. When this government came to power, they - alongside the Liberal Democrats - cut capital investment in affordable homes by 60%. Then, they imposed caps to prevent local authorities from borrowing. Rents are higher, housing is harder to find, and the number of rough sleepers in England alone has doubled between 2010-2016. On mental health, Speaker, the Royal Society of Medicine has told us "government austerity decisions in health and social care were likely to have resulted in 30,000 deaths in England and Wales in 2015". That is shameful, Mr. Speaker. This is, and I don't say this lightly, a government with blood on its hands.

I could go on and on, Mr. Speaker. But in short: no, I do not have confidence in this government. I do not have confidence in this or any Tory Prime Minister to do what's right for the country. The people of the United Kingdom deserve so much better and it is why I will vote in favour of this motion and against this dreadful government.
Pearl MacBay, MP
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Re: M-1: Motion of No Confidence in Her Majesty's Government

Post by Sir Arthur S. Stanley (CON) »

Mr. Speaker,

I rise to comment on what can only can be described as an extraordinary example of political opportunism cloaked in phony moral outrage. But it should not surprise us, Mr. Speaker, that the Opposition benches are without confidence in our government; they have lacked confidence in just about everything for some time now. For it was on their benches that they told us that a Brexit agreement could never be achieved with the European Union, could never be passed through the House of Commons, and that Britain would never be able to assert her sovereignty and soldier on beside rather than within the EU, but here we stand today, victorious, hopeful, and optimistic about the future as we have achieved what they said we could not. No, indeed, we should not be surprised at all by the lack of confidence on those benches for that has been the hallmark of the Rt. Hon. Gentleman, the Member for Islington North, ever since he took up his current seat on the frontbenches. In fact, I can't be sure if there has ever been such a dour leader of their party in living memory.

Indeed, Mr. Speaker, to look at him, you wouldn't know that Britain led the way in recovering from the great recession; you wouldn't know that British business is in a healthier state now than it has been in years; looking at the Leader of the Opposition's face, you wouldn't know that there was anything at all to smile about; but there is. Just yesterday, Mr. Speaker, the realization of the democratic will of the British people was realized when the United Kingdom formally and officially left the European Union and began the process of forging our own way in the world. This is an auspicious moment in our country's great and storied history and, Mr. Speaker, a moment of congratulations to the millions of British citizens who, for over three years, have devoted themselves and their efforts to ensuring that Britain may, once again, choose her own way. What's more, Mr. Speaker, the Government has negotiated an agreement pertaining to that withdrawal which gives Britain the absolute best of both worlds: we are now in a position to negotiate a long-term future partnership with Europe which will benefit us mutually but will leave Britain unshackled in its efforts to expand its trade and soft-power influence across the world. New horizons have opened which, until just yesterday, were closed to us. That is something to smile about, Mr. Speaker, even if the Rt. Hon. Leader of the Opposition can't bring himself to do it.

The future is bright, Mr. Speaker, but it is not certain. There is a tremendous amount of opportunity which lies ahead; but equally an incredibly amount of work yet to be done. That is why, in my estimation, it is the height of irresponsibility for the Opposition to suggest that this important work be halted while they attempt to secure the confidence of the House or, worse yet, plunge us into an early election. Mr. Speaker, if we are to be thrown into an election campaign, then it will become impossible for us to dedicate our efforts toward the signing and ratification of a free trade deal with Europe, to enact the positive workers' rights legislation that we must enact, or to continue to deepen and develop the environmental conservation efforts in our country. If the Opposition have their way, and we have an election, then the important business of government which, in this particular time is of particular importance, halts almost completely and we set our progress back three or even four months. I do not need to tell the House that we are in a finite transitional period, during which there is no abrogation of trading relations between Britain and Europe; once that period ends, Mr. Speaker, then trade will halt, tariffs will be charged, quotas will be imposed. That is, Mr. Speaker, if we cannot achieve a trade agreement before then. And we will not achieve that agreement if we are pressed into a general election by the opportunistic cabal opposite.

The Government has done good work, Mr. Speaker, and we have had a good many successes. We are far from finished; in fact, the beginning of reforming British society is only now. The list of necessary and time-sensitive legislation to put forward is long and it would be the height of irresponsibility for us to suspend the work of government and enter into petty party political battles at this stage as this motion and its defenders would have us do. To them, I say no, absolutely not. We must continue to govern with an eye to the future, with unwavering optimism about the absolute potential which this country has now unleashed, and with an ambition to make Britain a world leader once again. Anything short of that is putting party ahead of country, and is a shameful way for anyone who aspires to be a statesman to behave. This motion is not worth the paper it was written on, Mr. Speaker, and I hope that my colleagues and friends on all sides of the House will see it for what it is: opportunism and fear standing in the way of true progress and opportunity.
Rt. Hon. Sir Arthur Stanley | Altrincham and Sale West
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Re: M-1: Motion of No Confidence in Her Majesty's Government

Post by Sir Daniel Redmayne »

Mr Speaker,

I rise today in opposition to this motion, a motion that is nothing more than a stunningly shameless piece of political opportunism.

In placing this motion before the House, the Leader of the Opposition has chosen to engage in posturing for his own political interest rather than acting in the national interest. This is perhaps unsurprising given that the Leader of the Opposition has taken any excuse to call for a general election since 2017 if he thinks it will benefit him. However, to call for a vote of no confidence at this time shows not just cynical political manoeuvring on his part but a remarkable lack of consideration for what is in the national interest too.

After two years of dedicated negotiation, the Prime Minister has delivered a Brexit deal that has gained the confidence of this House. She has done so by overcoming significant hurdles in negotiations with the European Union and in the House, ultimately delivering a deal that works for both sides. This is no mean feat and whilst the Prime Minister has elected to stand down having delivered the exit deal, it is clear that this Conservative government has achieved what so many, including the Leader of the Opposition, said that we could not.

The road is not yet travelled, however, Mr Speaker. Whilst we have succeeded in leaving the European Union, there is the matter of the future relationship to consider. It is now the responsibility of this Conservative government, under a new Prime Minister, to negotiate a long-term partnership with the European Union along the principles which guided the vote to leave three years ago. This is a hugely important task with sensitive issues at stake and it requires continuity and stability at the centre. It is not the time for the distraction or potential chaos of a general election. Indeed, to call for an election now represents a disregard for the national interest on the part of the Leader of the Opposition.

However, whilst I firmly believe that this government is capable of delivering a long-term partnership deal with the EU and that a general election during this sensitive period is not in the national interest, I’m also motivated to oppose this motion because of the stark differences between this incumbent government and the Labour Opposition run by the Right Honourable Member for Islington North.

In 2010, the country stood on the verge of ruin. Years of irresponsible economic management under Tony Blair and Gordon Brown had plunged our country into the depths of the financial crisis. After thirteen long years of New Labour, they had left the United Kingdom in a far worse place than when they had arrived. In the nine years since, firstly under the Right Honourable former Member for Witney and now the Right Honourable Member for Maidenhead, this Conservative government has turned the country around for the better.

We have delivered a solid record of success across the board. Unemployment is lower than it has ever been before whilst the average wage is now nearly back at levels before the financial crash. Our fiscal responsibility reduced Gordon Brown’s calamitous deficit and ensured that we could put our public finances back onto a strong footing once more. At the same time, we’ve cut taxes for 32 million working people and helped people with the cost of living by introducing the National Living Wage and freezing fuel duty consistently. We’ve fostered business growth by reducing the 50p rate, lowering corporation tax and helping to create new private-sector jobs.

I’m particularly proud that we’ve delivered the biggest cash boost in history for our NHS, meaning that we’ll see an additional £20 billion per year until the end of 2024. This investment into frontline services will help to massively strengthen the capacity of the NHS and our efforts to upgrade 20 hospitals around the country mean new intensive care wards, children’s units and mental health facilities of vital importance to patients. In education, we’ve delivered reforms to make sure that our children are getting a quality education through improving literacy whilst similarly reducing the attainment gap and opening free schools to give parents choice in how their children are educated.

We’ve set out a 25-year environment plan to protect the environment for future generations by delivering cleaner air and water, tackling the scourge of plastic and introducing a legally binding target of net zero emissions by 2050. We’ve also introduced a cap on energy tariffs and worked to end rip-off energy prices for millions of families. And, when considering those less fortunate than us abroad, we’ve continued to commit to our 0.7% of GDP target for international aid that helps so many vulnerable populations.

Now, I could wax lyrical about the remainder of our achievements in areas such as infrastructure, transport, defence and regional investment but I think honourable members get the picture. In short, this Conservative government has delivered a solid record of success and turned this country around from the crisis it was in when Labour left office in 2010.

Comparably, in all that time, we have seen the Labour Opposition move from ideology to ideology, changing tact to whatever they think suits the political winds. Under the Right Honourable Member for Doncaster North, Labour tried to prove itself as fiscally responsible and tough on immigration. Under the Right Honourable Member for Islington North, Labour rebuked all of that and eschewed fiscal responsibility whilst failing to take a firm policy on Brexit. Time and time again Labour have proven unsure of themselves whilst decrying this Government for its achievements. If we have an Opposition that cannot even define itself on the issue of Brexit, how can it be defined as a credible government in waiting at a general election?

In summary, Mr Speaker, I oppose this motion not just because I think that we must focus on the important future relationship negotiations with the European Union but because I think that this Government over the last nine years has proven itself more than worthy of delivering for this country whilst the Leader of the Opposition and the Members behind him have failed to make a decent case for themselves, their party and for a general election at all.
Sir Daniel Redmayne Bt MP
Conservative Member of Parliament for Newark (2014-present)

Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs (2019-present)

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Re: M-1: Motion of No Confidence in Her Majesty's Government

Post by Will Croft »

Mr. Speaker,

Allow me to begin by acknowledging this motion for what it is: a desperate and reckless example of political opportunism at its worst. We are in the middle of the Government's term, we are on the verge of leaving the European Union, and we have pressing domestic and international commitments to attend to yet the House is being forced to seriously debate a motion that could leave Britain without a functioning Government when it needs one most. While disappointing, it is wholly unsurprising that the same Labour Party that was perfectly fine leaving our country in a state of perpetual paralysis by overwhelmingly voting against the Government's most recent Brexit deal would seek to do further damage to the stability of the United Kingdom by forcing the country into an election when what we need now is continuity and unity. It is shameful, Mr. Speaker, plane and simple.

That is, however, not what I plan to focus my remarks on today. Now that we have been forced to have this debate by the Leader of the Opposition, we should go ahead and have it. While this is a debate that I don't believe we should be having, it is one that I am exceedingly confident that the whole of the Government is very prepared to have. Because the truth is, Mr. Speaker, that this is a Government with a record of consistent accomplishments and effective leadership. It is a Government that has grown the economy, extended opportunity for all, and fiercely defended the will of the British people in delivering upon the results of the 2016 EU Referendum. It is a Government that has put the interests of Britain and the British people first, and it is one I am proud to defend and declare my confidence in.

Clearly, Mr. Speaker, many of the members who currently occupy the Opposition benches would do well to get out of Westminster, get some fresh air, and get an understanding of what has actually been going on across the country over the past two years. Because while some in this House argue that the country has moved from "crisis to crisis," like the Member for Great Grimsby has wrongly suggested, the reality of the situation is that Britain has become a more prosperous, dynamic, and equitable country. Allow me to explain, and to give the Labour Party an opportunity to learn a little bit about the reality of the country they are living in.

First, since 2010 and continuing on with the leadership of the current Prime Minister, Britain's economic outlook has consistently grown more optimistic and has consistently outperformed expectations. Under Conservative leadership Britain has been returned to its rightful place as global economic powerhouse. Today unemployment stands at a historic low of 3.8%, average wages are growing and have nearly reached pre-crash levels, and we have more women entrepreneurs succeeding in business than ever before in our country's history! Of course this record of success bothers the Labour Party, because a robust and successful free market undermines their warped world view that economic growth comes from a tightly controlled market led by bureaucrats and politicians. While Labour debates amongst themselves with industry they would renationalize and how much money they would rob from hardworking Britons, this Conservative Government has unleashed the potential of the free market and the entrepreneurial spirit of the British people. It is precisely because of the spending cuts the Government made when we first came to power, hard decisions that we were forced to make because of Gordon Brown's financial mismanagement, that our economy is growing and that virtually anyone who wants a job can get one. This is a record we can be proud of, because it is a record that has created jobs and opportunity at an unprecedented pace.

Second, Mr. Speaker, it is worth examining the domestic record of this Government outside the lines of economic management. This is the Government that has committed to providing a £20 billion injection of funds into our NHS in order to make the service fit for service, cut wait times, and build new hospitals across the whole of the country. It is this Government, under the leadership of the Prime Minister, that released a bold 25 year energy plan that will curb carbon pollution and ensure that Britain can be a fully energy independent nation. It is those of us on this side of the House that have introduced serious, credible solutions to addressing the persistent inequality faced by many in our society, committing billions to build new homes and providing much needed funding to our schools. And critically, Mr. Speaker, unlike those on the benches opposite it is this Government that has a proud and enduring legacy of backing our police and giving them the tools and support they need to do their jobs and keep our communities safe.

Finally, and arguably most critically, it is the Conservative Party and our party alone that has remained steadfast in our commitment to honor the democratic will of the British people and deliver Brexit. Virtually every other party represented in this House has at one point or another considered the idea of offering another referendum, of "canceling" Brexit, or engaging in nefarious attempts to undermine the Prime Minister's authority in the hopes of thwarting our exit from the European Union. While the Labour Party has insisted that Britain leave the EU with a deal, they have simultaneously gone out of their way to do everything in their power to ensure just the opposite by voting against every deal presented to them. All of the major political parties in this country promised to respect the outcome of the 2016 referendum, but it is only the Conservative Party that has kept that commitment by securing a proper Brexit deal and getting it passed through Parliament. A Labour Government would have seen Britain locked into the EU's Customs Union forever, trapped in the very state of subservience that the British people voted definitely to remove us from. Those of us on this side of the House can stand here today with confidence in the knowledge that we have done the people's will, we have delivered upon their decision, and that because of our efforts Britain will be leaving the European Union and heading out into the world as a free, independent, sovereign nation. That is something to be proud of.

Reality, and the fantasy land that many in the Labour Party wish they were living in, are two very different things. The reality facing Britain today is clear: the economy is growing, opportunity is expanding, and Britain is once again in control of its own destiny. These past few years haven't been easy, we have faced many challenges, but we have come out a stronger country. We have dusted ourselves off as we always do, and have reemerged as a nation that is more equipped and prepared to seize the opportunities that lie ahead. I have confidence in this Government, Mr. Speaker, because the Conservative Party has confidence in the power, might, and will of the British people. I urge all MPs, whatever your political leanings may be, to reject this senseless no confidence motion and get on with doing the job the British people elected you to do.
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Re: M-1: Motion of No Confidence in Her Majesty's Government

Post by Andrew Summer »

Mr. Speaker,

We certainly have seen a substantial amount of moral outrage coming from the opposite benches, with accusations that range from the mundane to the positively fantastical. We have heard a lot of criticisms of the Conservative Party’s record in government over the past nine years, to the point in which you start to wonder, if their rhetoric is a truthful and accurate as they pretend it is, just why the people would have placed us in Government at all. And furthermore, why our fellow citizens would have elected and re-elected a Conservative government three times in a row against a variety of Labour leaders and ideological approaches.

Surely, Mr. Speaker, if the Labour record in office were so brilliant, if their vision and leadership was so appealing, and if the Conservative record in office was indeed this shambolic, it would the Rt. Hon. Gentleman from Islington North who would be standing now on the dispatch box on this side of the House, leading a government of his own. That is, after all, what members from opposition were meant to campaign for last time around at the General Election, to make him the Prime Minister of this United Kingdom. Yet this is not so. This government has governed for nine years. It has gone to the polls to ask for the verdict of the people twice after being originally elected. It has won the election every time.

But how could this be, Mr. Speaker? How could this Conservative government, the source of all evils, remain in office?

Perhaps, it may be based around the fact that after gross mismanagement of our economy and finances by the last Labour government, we turned the economy around. By implementing a necessary programme of measured spending, and with brave sacrifices from every Briton, we dug ourselves out of the whole the opposite benches led us into, giving us the opportunity to start investing again without being riddled with crippling amounts of debt that our children and grandchildren would be forced to pay for. No, Mr. Speaker, surely not. Surely the people of this nation would much rather have a Chancellor that quotes from Mao’s little red book, with any notion of discipline thrown into the furnace, and for us to be sent right back where we started, negating the collective hard work of this nation in restoring our economy.

Perhaps, it may be based around the fact that we have led the way in keep people safe. By reforming the police and other security services and institutions, by empowering communities and moving away from ineffective Whitehall bureaucracies. By moving police officers away from the desks where they don’t want to be, and into the streets so they can fight crime. By being tough on criminals, by building prisons, and by pursuing intense effort to help young Britons who have been captured and radicalized by the claws of propaganda. By preserving our nuclear deterrent, key component of the security of this nation. By leading the way in standing up against terror, particularly when it takes place on our very soil. No, Mr. Speaker, surely not. Surely the people of this nation would much rather have a Prime Minister who is incapable of standing for what is right when, for instance, we suffer an act of aggression like the Salisbury attack. Surely what the people want is a leader who’ll second guess the security services first rather than stand tough against Russia, a Prime Minister who would much rather cheer on and mourn terrorists than to stand on the side of the victims.

Perhaps it may be based around the fact that we have lived up to the identity of this party as the party of the Union, the Conservative and Unionist Party. By working hard to ensure all the nations of the United Kingdom benefit from our programme, by confronting narrow minded nationalism that would break up this union, by giving Wales, Scotland and Northern Ireland a greater say on their affairs whilst preserving our constitutional framework. No, Mr. Speaker, surely not. Surely, once again, surely the people of this nation want a Labour government that would be a helpless puppet to the whims of the SNP, a government that equivocates on the union after having claimed the unionist mantle for a while, a government that would promise as many independence referedums as it takes until the SNP get what they want.

Lastly, perhaps we remain in office because we have led the way in the greatest democratic experiment in the history of this island. We gave people a historic opportunity to make a direct decision that would affect their future. We asked them to decide whether we should remain within the EU, and promised to implement that decision. They voted to Leave, and we have just left the European Union in a manner consistent with that vote, freeing us from the Single Market and the Customs Union, restoring our control over immigration, our justice system, and many aspects of our economy. No, Mr. Speaker, surely it is not that either. Surely what the people want is a government that would reverse and revoke the mandate from the people. A government that would prolong the Brexit process far beyond what is necessary, or bind us so closely to the EU in the transition process that one might even end up forgetting that we left at all. Surely they want the kind of leader that promises to respect the result, based on what we know are the beliefs of his entire life, only to reverse itself when his colleagues, the very same colleagues who want to succeed him, egg him on to take a stand against Brexit.

Mr. Speaker, I could go on. No government is ever perfect. No government is free from mistakes. And no government is spared from having the potential to do better, to improve on areas or policies which may have fallen behind. But this government has done a stellar job across nine years when it comes to restoring the economy, keeping Britain safe, empowering the people, delivering Brexit, leading the way on environmental protection, and the list goes on and on. I for one am proud to be a supporter of it from these backbenches. We have taken our case to the British public in the past, and been asked to carry on with our task. Labour has changed leaders and changed tacks, and been rejected time and time again.

So no, Mr. Speaker, although we will always welcome the opportunity for health scrutiny and debate, we will not take lectures from the crowd that has spent the last few years insisting that the Rt. Hon. Gentleman from Islington North deserves to be Prime Minister, and that his dangerous, radical and downright dangerous programme is worthy of implementation. We stand proudly on our record, and are prepared to go on with a new leader and a renewed sense of purpose, delivering on Brexit and addressing other key priorities over the rest of this Parliament.

Mr. Speaker, this Labour Party may be an Opposition. But it is no Government in waiting.
Andrew Summer MP - Conservative and Unionist Party
Member of Parliament for Ashford (2010 - Present)

Former Defence Secretary and Chief Whip (2019)
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Re: M-1: Motion of No Confidence in Her Majesty's Government

Post by Emily Greenwood »

Mr Speaker,

When we debate a motion such as this one, it’s often tempting to see it as nothing more than an exercise at political point-scoring. See who gets the best quotes in the newsrounds, who is most outraged, see whether we can play the game just a little better than everyone else.

And I’ve got to give it to the members opposite, they’re playing that playbook to the letter. Just now, we heard the Foreign Secretary decry political opportunism, and to hear him tell it, the question today is whether we can stomach another election.

I’m sorry to break it to him, but he’s wrong. And most of all, he is wrong about the question we should be asking ourselves today. He seems to be thinking whether it’s right to have another election. I so happen to believe the country would be better off with a new government. But apart from being hardly a novel conclusion, that’d be getting ahead of ourselves. Because the first question we should be asking is not about elections or what who said about whom during the past years - it’s the very simple question of whether this government can still be trusted to lead post-Brexit Britain.

To answer that question, like many colleagues have done, let’s look at the past first. Much has been said about the last days of David Cameron’s premiership. Instead, I want to look back further back to when he was the future. To be precise, before he became Prime Minister. One of his major slogans back in the day was to heal our broken society.

But instead of picking up the pieces and mending it, this government has trampled on them like a bull in a China shop. Nine years later, we find ourselves a more divided, harsher and more fraught Britain. I’m not just talking about Brexit, which has divided us between the 52% and 48%, each with their own ugly terms for the other on the Twittersphere that I will not repeat in this House. A division that we can, at last, put behind us, in fact that we have to put behind us as we move to a post-Brexit Britain. One whose genesis my honourable friends have described far better than I.

Many of my constituents voted to leave the European Union. So many told me they felt unseen, unheard, in the backseat of their own country, without any control over its affairs. And yet, to hear the right honourable gentleman boastfully defend his government record, you’d think they’d have no reason to.

The thing is, the Brexit divide is not the only rift in our society that this government has opened up through cynical politicking. There’s strivers and shirkers, newcomers to Britain and those who’ve been here since time immemorial, the devolved nations and England. We’ve seen the signs of our broken society, our broken government, in the flames of Grenfell Tower, in the callousness of the Bedroom Tax, in an increasingly precarious job market, in broken public services, in the indignity of the Windrush Scandal. In austerity itself. All symptoms of a more serious breach of trust, a more serious rift: between government and the communities it serves.

There’s a clinical coldness to the Foreign Secretary’s defence today that shows what I am talking about. Average wages. Comparisons to pre-crash levels. The deficit. Tax rates. But look at the impact of this government’s policies on ordinary families, beyond just their wallets or the money we spend on their services, and it becomes much less clear how they’re better off as a result of this government’s actions. Jobs nowadays are more precarious, students have seen their tuition fees rise sharply, whole areas of this country still do not have a stake in its prosperity. Our public services, which are supposed to work for all of us, have seen the exaggeration of a private ethos meant to foster efficiency that has undermined that function. Train tickets are unaffordable, waiting lists for vital healthcare have skyrocketed, the housing market is locked tight. And I should know - a lot of these problems are concentrated in constituencies like mine.

And while I believe their will should be upheld, the Brexit deal this government secured, without a constructive future relationship with Europe to back it up, will leave these communities out to dry even further.

Mr Speaker, it is not opportunistic to point at these failures and put the question whether people deserve a better deal. So many people feel government is not for them and politicians are out for themselves. So many people have turned off, disillusioned and feeling neglected, across this country. The averages may almost be back to normal, but the government that would heal our broken society has shattered it. They have presided over the creation of the new margins, of the forgotten corners where people feel they no longer have a stake in their lives, in their country.

And the fact that they sit there, boasting, smugly playing the political game from their playbook, pretending to be outraged over perceived opportunism as if this was all a well-rehearsed reality TV show, shows precisely why the answer to the question of no confidence should be an emphatic yes. The British people do not want their politics to be like the latest season of Big Brother - juicy, dramatic, but ultimately mere entertainment. They want us to see them, hear them, help them. For many of the 52%, that’s what Brexit was about. But I warn the government now - if we don’t put an end to this cynical mode of politics, if we don’t stop stoking division and pushing people to the margins, we’ll be failing far, far more than that.

The British people deserve a government that will bring them together and solve their problems. The question today is this: can this government still be that government?

The answer, Mr Speaker, is no.
the Rt Hon. Emily Greenwood MP
Leader of Her Majesty's Most Loyal Opposition and Leader of the Labour Party (2019-2021)
MP for Workington (2010-present)
Shadow Secretary of State for the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (2017-2019)

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Re: M-1: Motion of No Confidence in Her Majesty's Government

Post by Eva Phillips »

Mr Speaker,

I rise in support of this motion proposed by the Right Honourable Gentleman for Islington North and I would like to begin by aligning myself with the comments previously made during this debate by from these benches. As to the contributions from the government benches Mr Speaker, you will forgive me if I appear a little confused by the sudden display of Tory unity that may well be in boisterous abundance upon the Prime Minister's departure but which certainly kept itself well hidden during her Premiership. But then, this is not unfamiliar territory Mr Speaker. The British people were asked to believe the government was "strong and stable". In reality, this government shuddered and shook until the manifesto promises the Right Honourable Lady made were smashed upon the altar of Brexit to appease the so-called Spartans in a desperate attempt to keep her heels under the desk of her Downing Street study. She has failed Mr Speaker. And so too has this government.

Mr Speaker, I was intrigued to hear the Honourable Member for Ashford speak of moral outrage. What else can one feel when we look at the catalogue of disasters and debacles this country has been forced to endure in the last nine years? The Bedroom Tax. Now I am aware that the Downing Street mandarins would prefer me to call it a "spare room subsidy" but it is in fact, a tax, a tax which has seen 14% of social housing tenants robbed of an average of £1,560 a year if they have a "spare room". It was an unfair and discriminatory measure, not my words Mr Speaker, but the ruling of the Supreme Court, when they upheld the claims of Jacqueline Carmichael and Paul and Susan Rutherford who appealed against the Bedroom Tax. Mrs Carmichael has spina bifida. Mr and Mrs Rutherford required an extra room to accommodate an overnight carer for their severely disabled grandson. Were they wrong to feel moral outrage?

Two tribunals ruled that the Personal Independence Payments taken from 165,000 disabled people by the Department of Work and Pensions should be restored and expanded. The rulings were blocked by this government. Should they not feel moral outrage Mr Speaker? Should we not feel moral outrage on their behalf? What about our young people denied Housing Benefit which Centrepoint warned will see a dramatic increase in youth homelessness with 10,000 people aged between 18 and 22 cut adrift by this government? What of those deemed fit for "work-related activity" and thus made £30 a week poorer by the DWP based on an assessment process that is humiliating, intrusive and callous? Should those handed a £1,500-a-year cut to their living costs not feel moral outrage?

And what of child poverty Mr Speaker? The United Kingdom now has 2.8 million children living in absolute poverty. This governments response? They scrapped the targets for reducing child poverty and simply removed the term "child poverty" from the Child Poverty Act, renaming it the Life Chances Act. To quote from this 2017 report by the Joseph Rowntree Foundation; "Poverty rates are rising, largely due to reductions in support offered by benefits and tax credits.....for many low-income families, the gains are far outweighed by reductions in the more targeted support given by the benefit and tax credit system". And if we look at the other end of the scale Mr Speaker, we find that pensioner poverty has started to increase again, reaching 16%. Under the last Labour government, pensioner poverty was at a record low. Now we see pensioners once again forced to choose between heating and eating. 1 in 5 told the Care and Support Alliance last year that they had gone without meals because of a lack of care and support. Over a quarter of those in need of social care said that they had not been able to maintain basics like washing, dressing or even visiting the bathroom. What is this if not a moral outrage?

And whilst this decline in living standards has been destroying the lives of the poorest in our country, what has the Conservative Party been more concerned with? Placating the Eurosceptics on their backbenches to save the Prime Minister's skin. Whilst our children go hungry, whilst our pensioners go cold, whilst the most vulnerable in our society are forced to rely on charities for soap and toilet paper, the Tories continue to congratulate themselves on a job well done. The Honourable Member for Newark claims the last nine years are a record to be proud of. In the last nine years, the number of emergency food parcels distributed by Trussell Trust food banks has risen to well over one and a half million. That's an increase of 3,900% in those nine years. Is he proud of that Mr Speaker? Is the Honourable Gentleman proud of that record? Because let there be no doubt, this is the true legacy of this Conservative government.

So I am supporting this motion of No Confidence in the government today Mr Speaker. I support it on behalf of the disabled, of the elderly, of the most vulnerable in our society. I support it on behalf of those for whom continued Tory rule means more cuts, more poverty and more misery. I support it on behalf of those who desperately need change and who won't get it from a Tory party crowing and congratulating itself on achievements which it simply has not delivered.
Eva Phillips MP
Member of Parliament for Barking (1997 - )
Shadow Cabinet Minister for Mental Health and Social Care (2010 - 2015)
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