Wigan Observer - 2nd July 2019

Parliament is plumbing the depths yet again and this political era is so different to any I have seen before. There were challenging times when Labour took the UK into the second Gulf War or had to pick up the pieces of the banking collapse and economic meltdown. Of course, they blamed everyone but themselves for what was going on but we all knew who was responsible and who to hold to account.

It is so different today. Obviously, Theresa May, as Prime Minister, is ultimately responsible for her failures but there is a wide spread sense that fault lies with the whole of the political class. Whether it is a failure of the local council leadership for taking a laissez-faire approach to house building or Members of Parliament for failing to deliver on the 2016 Referendum decision to leave the EU.

We can all make our own lists of the problems – probably rather long lists – but that will not resolve them. Sometimes, when leaders cannot fix the problems they then become the problem. This is why the Conservative Party is taking decisive action to choose a new leader and set a new vision for the country.

In reality, the leadership race started in the aftermath of the 2017 General Election, when the Prime Minister threw away the government’s slender majority and nearly handed the country over to Labour’s chosen champion, Jeremy Corbyn. After many months of drift the leadership race formally started and we are now down to the final two candidates.

Boris Johnson and Jeremy Hunt are touring the country to set out their stall for being leader of the Conservative Party and the next Prime Minister. We could hardly have two more different characters. Some people prefer the style of the current Foreign Secretary who has distinguished himself as Britain’s senior diplomat whilst other people prefer the former mayor of London and his distinctive style.

Normally, an opposition leader and his team would have a few years in developing their policies before taking them to the people in a General Election but this time the new Prime Minister will have to hit the ground running. It is actually fairly common for Prime Ministers to take up their post midway through a Parliament.

I am supporting Boris Johnson to be Prime Minister and he has two great qualities that he will bring to the position. Firstly, politics today is so often boring and mind-numbing but no one would suggest this of Boris Johnson, who has the ability to motivate and inspire with his words and vision. Secondly, as Boris proved as mayor of London, he can choose an immensely talented team to deliver the polices set out in his vision.

Obviously, leaving the European Union by 31st October is the single most important matter but I am pleased that he also has a focus on education, improving standards and ensuring funding is increased to help deliver. Whilst Labour’s Sadiq Khan is overseeing a surge in stabbings and violence on the streets of our capital, Boris managed to cut crime and especially violent crime. This strong agenda on law and order is something that my constituents tell me they want to see.

By delivering for Britain, Boris will unite the country and will then be able to defeat the biggest threat to our Union – the Labour leader, Jeremy Corbyn.

In 2017, some Labour MPs and campaigners went from door-to-door to persuade people to vote Labour but not to worry about Jeremy because he has no chance of becoming Prime Minister. In the end he was 20,000 votes short from being able to form a coalition with the SNP.

They nearly tricked Mr Corbyn into 10 Downing Street last time and they are going to try again next time. Some Labour MPs are jealous of the Conservatives because we are fixing our problems so we can focus on the concerns across the country. They want to dump Jeremy but their constituency members love him, share his values and want him to be PM.

Boris Johnson is standing between Labour’s dream, and our nightmare, of a socialist government running Britain and he has my full support.

On a lighter note, you may not have noticed but the Liberal Democrats are having a leadership race, which is nice.