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Press Cycle 10 - Vote of No Confidence in Her Majesty's Government
This confidence vote has shown this nation two things - the first is one of reality, the second is one of hypocrisy. The reality of the situation is that this Government was doomed to failure from the start. The only thing that the eight parties, and one independent MP, had in common was their support of a people's vote - until that legislation would've been passed all it takes is one or two MPs from the Governing Coalition parties, the various parties with confidence and supply agreements and the Government could fall at any time. That is not stability. It is very, very unstable. That is the reality.

The hypocrisy that I mentioned is very telling. The Prime Minister is telling the country that Government (and, by proxy, herself and the Labour Party) have invested in communities, that they have started to work to rebalance the economy, that regions outside of London have been invested in, that they've started a green revolution and that austerity has been ended - these are outright lies! The only legislation that has been passed is the Queen's Speech. All other legislation has not been passed because this election has been called. The Budget has not passed, and if the Green Party rebelled on it, it may not have been passed. The Climate Change Act has not been passed, and the Green Party said that it didn't go far enough and needed to be amended. How dare the Prime Minister stand before you and say that these are the things she has done, when in fact what she means is these are the things we will be doing if elected again?

The Government must be commended for getting  power-sharing agreement in place in Northern Ireland - however the truth of the matter is that the Prime Minister has to lie to the public about what they have done - because they haven't done much.

Proposals that have not been passed through Parliament is not enough - the truth is this Government has been incapable of governing.
MP for Hexham 2005 -
If the Shadow Health Secretary wants to talk about hypocrisy, he need only look in the mirror. The Blakesley government might have only passed a Queen's Speech, but our team of ministers were very active across the board. To highlight a few, investment in our infrastructure, a new guarantee for veterans, the appointment of a new European Commissioner, the stopping of Universal Credit, complying with the Dubs amendment, restoring devolution to Northern Ireland, and introducing and signing two devolution deals with local authorities in England. To their credit, the Croft Ministry only had an inquiry, a statutory order, and a Treaty that everyone else agreed was bad for this country. Over the last year, Labour has accomplished more for Britain than the Tories ever did - both while we were in the opposition and in the Government. Why would anyone trust them again?
The Rt. Hon. Sir James C. McCrimmon OBE
MP for West Ham (2005-present)
Chairman of the Labour Party (2019-present)
Secretary of State for Transport and Infrastructure (2019-present)

Traits: Campaigning Guru, Backbench Favourite, Media Unknown
Let's not forget what fundamentally caused this vote of no confidence - no matter what the Tories say, it ultimately comes down to Harriet Laski hating the prospect of the Prime Minister having a slice of cake with her political opponents. The Tories seem so quick to take advantage of this, to capitalise on it for political gain, that they have mostly forgotten to condemn this gross act of political intolerance. Instead, the Conservatives seem to have embraced, in their own way, Harriet Laski's brand of politics - and that brand of politics is divisive, it is hyperbolic, it is bordering on hateful, and whether it's on the left or the right it has no place in our politics. 

And let's not forget the background conditions of this. The Tories speak a lot about the will of the people - but they seem to ignore it whenever the will of the people goes against what they want. The will of the British people earlier this year created a divided parliament, reflecting a divided nation that had demonstrated it was sick of shambolic Conservative majority rule, and with a majority voting for People's Vote-backing parties, another expression of the will of the people that the Tories seem intent on obstructing before it happens and delegitimising when it does happen. The will of the British people was that the Tories had lost their trust, and I expect this election to show that that remains the same. 
Grant Smith
Liberal Democrat MP for Leeds North West (2005-present)

Media Unknown, Constituency Appeal, Campaign Organiser, Fundraiser Extraordinaire 
Previously: Sir Lachlan Domnhall Coinneach Duncan MacMahon; Graham Adiputera; I think I played some dull Labour bloke at one point
Mr Andrews was very keen, alongside some of his Tory colleagues, to say the Government wanted to avoid scrutiny. What scrutiny? The Tories may be loud in the press but they certainly haven't been providing scrutiny in Parliament.

No questions at all in four months to the Departments for International Development, Culture, Europe or Brexit.
No questions in any of the seven Ministerial Statements on Investment, Universal Credit, Leveson, Marriage Law, Windrush, Cheshire and Warrington, the Green Industrial Revolution.
No frontbench questions on Veterans, or on Arms Sales.
No questions to the answer to their own Urgent Question.
A single question in four months to each the Home, Business, Social Security, Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales Secretaries.
A single question on the Northern Ireland Executive but not from the Shadow Union Secretary, only the Shadow Education Secretary.
A single question and no statement on the Energy and Climate Change Bill; again not the Shadow Climate Secretary but the Shadow Education Secretary.
A single Tory MP in the debate on Hospital Car Parks: which they claim is such a priority for them.
A measly two questions to the Foreign Secretary.

And the Brexit Party asked more questions to the Prime Minister during PMQs than the Leader of the Opposition! 

Our democracy needs a strong opposition to hold any Government to account but let us be clear: The Tories certainly haven't been providing any.
James 'Jim' Kennedy MP
Home Secretary
Secretary of State for Northern Ireland
MP for Wansbeck (2010-) | Labour and Cooperative
Traits: Media Darling, Backbench Favourite, Finite Resources
The Conservatives call for scrutiny - yet they have, as Jim Kennedy points out, failed to take advantages for what opportunities they have had. Many of these ministerial statements - such as on Leveson and universal credit - were open for days, yet the Tories made no attempt to engage with them, despite the statements in question representing big departures from their own policies. The lack of questions presented to many government departments, with at least 4 Cabinet attendees facing no questions on their brief from the opposition whatsoever, is a shocking dereliction of duty. The Conservatives did not care for scrutiny in government except as a talking point - what is more shocking is that this attitude has carried over to their time in opposition. 
Grant Smith
Liberal Democrat MP for Leeds North West (2005-present)

Media Unknown, Constituency Appeal, Campaign Organiser, Fundraiser Extraordinaire 
Previously: Sir Lachlan Domnhall Coinneach Duncan MacMahon; Graham Adiputera; I think I played some dull Labour bloke at one point
Whatever the result of the upcoming election, amid all of the uncertainty of the last Parliament, one thing will be crystal clear - the next Prime Minister will be Caroline Blakesley or Harold Saxon. Whilst we do not have a Presidential system of election in this country, the electorate will make its mind up based on their perception of the standard bearers for the two major parties - Labour and Conservative. The debate in the House on the motion of no confidence provides us with a snapshot of the difference between the two: the Prime Minister's response to the Leader of the Opposition's Speech was unacceptable, and it set a new low for our politics - instead of addressing Harold Saxon's measured assessment of the Government's failings, Caroline Blakesley reverted to form with a bungled character assassination that told us much more about Blakesley, her attempt to smear Saxon a major gaffe. The Prime Minister's barracking was not worthy of the great office she holds. This goes right to the heart of the Prime Minister's flawed political pedigree: she should have fought for Brexit, she should have stood up for Northern Ireland in the Union, and she should never have worked with Nationalists -instead the mask has slipped, and the real Caroline Blakesley is only concerned about one thing; power at all costs, whatever the price.
Rt Hon. Patrick Dundas MP | Scottish Conservative & Unionist Party
Leader of Her Majesty's Most Loyal Opposition
Member of Parliament for Moray (2019-Present)
The Conservatives have put their future in the hands of the Brexit Party and the likes of Nigel Farage. If they are able to form a government, it would mean a hard Brexit, anti-immigrant policies, and a return to austerity. Unfortunately, unchecked Labour will also pursue Brexit and soon forget about Wales. That is why Plaid Cymru is offering a final say referendum, a welcoming culture, and investment in our nation. With the support of voters, we will continue to make Wales count and deliver on these promises, for a return to normalcy.
Owain Pugh MP
Plaid Cymru for Dwyfor Meirionnydd
Campaigning Guru/Fundraising Extraordinaire/Media Darling/Maverick
Harold Saxon boasted that his governing philosophy would be "my way or the highway". That is not the governing philosophy of a head of government navigating a country through tricky negotiations and sensitive economic transformations. That is the philosophy of a child having a tantrum. Let's hope Harold Saxon's electoral ambitions prove as realistic as his targets for economic growth. 
Grant Smith
Liberal Democrat MP for Leeds North West (2005-present)

Media Unknown, Constituency Appeal, Campaign Organiser, Fundraiser Extraordinaire 
Previously: Sir Lachlan Domnhall Coinneach Duncan MacMahon; Graham Adiputera; I think I played some dull Labour bloke at one point
I have recently spoken in the House of Commons during the debate on the vote of no confidence in the government, a debate which the Prime Minister has sought to portray as a ludicrous consequence of her acceptance of a piece of cake from the leader of the Brexit Party. This attempt to wrap the very significant issues at the heart of the debate in a cloak of faux outrage over such a minor incident is however, indicative of something very rotten at the heart of the state. It is a hideous attempt to deflect the public’s attention away from the very real and very deep structural cracks within the constitution of this government. The Prime Minister was always doomed to merely manage the decline and fall of an illusory government. There was never any substance. There was never any authority. There was never any certainty. There was never any future.

The Prime Minister’s willingness to place competing niches viewpoints, potentially dangerous vested interests and those parties who seek the very disillusion of the basic fabric of Britain at the controls of the levers of national power in the country tells us much about her priorities. Herself. She composed a government of national structural disunity so that she could advance her position, seemingly satisfied to sell out her party’s principles for the lure of power. It was a rotten move, inspired by lust for power and not a natural love for this country. Regardless of the Green Party’s reasoning behind their withdrawal from the calamitous coalition, we are all fortunate that the government has fallen and the British people now have the power to sweep aside the power of those vested interests. I told the House of Commons that the vote of no confidence was about having a government in power which does not have to sell this country out to dangerous niche interests every time it needs to make an important decision, that it was about making Britain stronger rather than advancing the interests of those groups within it who seek to dismantle it, that it was about leadership, stability and unity in and for the national interest. And I believe those words reflect very well on what is at stake in the coming election. The choice is upon the people of this nation, let’s rip out the rottenness at the heart of this nation and vote for a Conservative government of integrity, a government that will ensure the will of the British people is put first above mere political machinations and a government that will deliver the future prosperity and stability the people of these islands are so desperately in need of.
"Rottenness". "Rip it out." Assuming all political opponents are basically evil. The Tories have fully embraced the tone of debate that they set with their "gun pointing at Labour" billboard in the last election. It's hyperbolic. It's irrational. It is without justification. It is divisive. It is dangerous. The Tories need to tone down their rhetoric urgently, and stop contributing to this massive American-style polarisation of our politics. 
Grant Smith
Liberal Democrat MP for Leeds North West (2005-present)

Media Unknown, Constituency Appeal, Campaign Organiser, Fundraiser Extraordinaire 
Previously: Sir Lachlan Domnhall Coinneach Duncan MacMahon; Graham Adiputera; I think I played some dull Labour bloke at one point

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