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PC14 - New Government
I am always a big fan of the self-effacing ‘apology’ that is so readily thrown about by Ministers in a tight spot. It is so very witty to turn outright failure into an attack on one's opposition. Perhaps it is a skill taught at the government’s training camps in the place of good governance and accountability. Alas, I will never quite know.
Throughout the past ten years, it has been Liberal Democrats who have been championing the cause of rights and equalities - securing equal marriage, defending civil liberties, making the positive case for immigration, championing mental health, doing the hard work in fighting prejudice and discrimination wherever it lingers. With Liberal Democrat Jo Swinson as Minister for Women and Equalities, we will continue this important work.

With investments in infrastructure across the nation, a proactive and bottom-up approach to devolution, and an Inclusive Growth Fund, it is clear that this government will be a government for the whole United Kingdom. That is why we are proud to be an integral part of it.
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
The Government has gotten right down to work, delivering for the British people. In our first days since the election we began the process of delivering real change for the United Kingdom, starting with our landmark Climate Change Bill, which will put the United Kingdom on the path to carbon neutrality by 2040. This is bold legislation. This is legislation that will see us take the next step towards fulfilling our commitment to tackle climate change head on. This is action that will improve our environment and protect our planet for future generations. And I am proud to stand behind it. The Government is taking action on climate change: it's time to walk the walk, not just talk the talk.

The Government today took the first steps in rolling back the regressive Conservative regulations that threatened to privatise the NHS through the backdoor. After campaigning against Conservative efforts to privatise the NHS under the guise of competition, this Government is listening to the advice of NHS leaders and finally eliminating the tendering requirements that the previous Tory government forced on the NHS. Let me be clear: these regulations, far from improving services and delivering them at lower cost, were actually found to increase the price paid by the NHS. Instead of millions of pounds being funneled into patient care - reducing wait times at A&Es and ensuring quick access to cancer care - NHS leaders across the country were forced to shell our millions in administrative costs to comply with regressive Tory regulation. That is unacceptable when wait times are the longest they've ever been, when hundreds of thousands are denied fast access to care. Care, not cost-cutting, must be the primary concern of the NHS: this Government is making sure it stays that way. And we will continue to do just that in the future.

I'll have Harold Saxon know that this Government is getting on just fine. Coalitions have existed in British politics before and they've worked. And I'm committed to working, something I've done every day that I've been in office.

What concern me more is his tone about failure. Nobody, not even the Leader of the Opposition, should hope for the government to fail. Even when I watched William Croft make bad decisions, I didn't want him to fail. Because the reality is that, when government fails, it's not just a political issue. People's lives are impacted. And that can be a tragedy. And that's why, despite our political differences, we all strive to see success for the United Kingdom. We never hope for failure. That's not who we are.

And this government will not fail. We've accomplished more since the last election than Harold Saxon did the entire time he was Home Secretary. And over the coming weeks and months, we will do a great deal to reverse austerity, to strengthen the safety net, and to promote growth and opportunity in every corner of the country. This government will work; we're already working hard on issues that matter to the British people. Because that's what Labour does: we get to work.
Caroline Blakesley MP DCB
Prime Minister (June 2019-)
MP for Manchester Central (2015-) | Labour
Traits: Fundraising Extraordionare, Campaign Guru, Media Darling, Constituency Pariah
For people in my constituency and those like it across the North, the new Government means a fresh start and a continuation of the vital work we started. The last term was about getting out our plan for the economy, this term we're going to deliver it and make life a little fairer, a little easier and the economy work for everyone. It means local growth strategies like the Northern Powerhouse can get the needed investment they deserve. It means less regulation for small businesses, revitalising the high streets of our smaller towns.

It means more apprenticeships, investment in rail, road and housing. It means ending the funding disparity so that for every £1 spent in London, £4 is spent out of it. It means protections for workers, increasing the national living wage and eliminating banking deserts.

It's about delivery and ensuring our economy works for all.

The environment is top of the agenda for this government for good reason. This Government is getting straight to work. We're rolling out the Energy and Climate Change bill to start that process right away.

The new government is setting Britain on the right track read for 2040. We're laying the foundations to ensure by that point, Britain is carbon-neutral. It will mean new national parks, reversing the damage done to biodeiversity. It means tree-planting programmes that work for our local areas and regions. It means a green approach to public transport, energy, efficiency, constructions and zero-waste.

We've showed you the agenda, we've given you the budget. We were elected to get it done and we're getting straight to work.

This Government is a government for the whole Union. While the Tories are demoting the nations and comparing them to provinces of England, the Government are ensuring we have the economy, public services and a Brexit deal that works for every nation and region.

We started this process before the election, we saw it succeed in Northern Ireland getting power-sharing back on track. We committed to it in the local regions, in Yorkshire and Cheshire. We committed to it in Wales, with new devolution arrangements ready to go. We laid out our plan and set up the budget to do it; a finance review for Wales and Scotland, devolution for regions, investment in Northern Ireland and in public services.

For the Nations, this government means an economy, public services and a Brexit deal that work for every equal part of the UK. 
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 first weeks aren't off to a good start - Cabinet Ministers are still behaving like we're in the middle of a General Election; everything from ministerial statements worthy of Napoleonic pomposity, to manic 24/7 tweeting, to Defence Chiefs briefing against the Government. Even in the High Noon of New Labour, events such as these were few and far between - the Prime Minister should remember that she has a wafer-thin majority, and that the business of running the country requires leadership and setting an example - it's time for her to reign some of her Ministers in, to stop grandstanding and to start governing.
Rt Hon. Patrick Dundas MP | Scottish Conservative & Unionist Party
Leader of Her Majesty's Most Loyal Opposition
Member of Parliament for Moray (2019-Present)
We are only days into a new Labour-led coalition and already the reputation of this government has been severely undermined by the same kind of self-serving and condescending approach to governance which was apparent in the previous Labour-led coalition of nationalists and invested interests. Within just days of my opening statement at questions to the Secretary of State for Defence, where I expressed my hope for a constructive relationship in serving the armed forces and the security of this nation, Labour had already scraped the barrel of decency. The government was accused of ‘shameless pork barrel politics’ by Defence Chiefs, they sought to use the procurement of vehicles like it was an election campaign tool and they pedalled a narrative about the procurement of armoured vehicles under the Conservative government which was so far off the track of reality that no new 8x8 would ever hope to reach it.

It is the policy of the Conservative Party to fully modernise our armed forces and so, despite the blatant election-oriented tone of the Defence Secretary, we do continue to support the acquisition of the Boxer vehicle announced by the MoD, which was a process re-initiated under the Croft government in 2018. But the Labour party has demonstrated no foresight or business acumen in securing additional future options for the number of vehicles actually required by the Army, which is actually three times the amount announced by the Defence Secretary. The government has only ordered a third of the vehicles required by the Army and told the people of Telford to thank them for it. I have therefore, urged the government to re-negotiate preferable terms for at least a further 1000 Boxers before the contract is finalised, to ensure our armed forces are properly prepared for future conflicts.

This disappointing start to the government’s defence policy does not bode well for the coming years but we in the opposition will work hard to ensure that they are held accountable for their words and their actions and that they treat the armed forces and the defence of this nation with the dignity it deserves.
Harry De Santis MP

Shadow Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs
Shadow Secretary of State for Defence Tom Tugendhat (NPC)
Conservative Member for Totnes
Verdict: Conservative victory.

The Tories had to get one eventually, didn’t they?

Where I am critical of the Tories is these lines were basically the old ones, but rehashed. Where it worked is the government didn’t respond to this microwaved press attack as effectively as it did the first-time round, which benefits you overall.

That said, to describe the press strategy as ‘microwaved’ is a little unfair, because there were some small improvements. I found the most effective putdowns, beyond the usual scaremongering about weak governments, were the comparisons between Blakesley’s politics and New Labour sleaze. Yes, Labour has truly moved on from New Labour even IG, and to draw Blakesley in with Tony Blair is potentially unfair. But in voters’ eyes, there’s only two kinds of Labour really – nuances like ‘old right’ or ‘soft left’ haven’t left the Westminster or Labour bubble – they see ‘New Labour’ and ‘Old Labour’, and what they dislike about New Labour is its sense of spin and sleaze. The Tories, particularly Paddy Dundas, evoked those old images and concerns quite well. This was done particularly well with the defence debacle.

I can see the Tories are trying to resuscitate Brexit in the electorate’s mind again, especially Dylan Macmillan. Again, this is effective in achieving its Brexit aims but it doesn’t do you well for short to medium term party political ones: you’re validating Labour as a Leave party to its Leave supporters, which keeps them strongly on side.

Labour had a decent shot here defending and promoting their policy, but I think they could’ve had a better, more coordinated attack on the Tories. That they didn’t do this definitely lost them this press round.

This was the best Lib Dem press cycle so far. Grant Smith is quietly and effectively rallying his base, with no one trying to make the similar pitch or speaking his language in a way his press lines make the papers nearly completely unopposed. He had a small ding dong with Dylan Macmillan, and ultimately came on top with the line that politicking and bickering over what Brexit looks like is exactly why we need a people’s vote. The momentum really is with the people’s vote campaign, and the Tories need to adjust to that reality.

Where’s Brexit at?

XP to Harry De Santis, Paddy Dundas and - for being sometimes a lone fighter/reminder of the Brexit cause even where it may not be perfect for his party in the short term - Dylan Macmillan. Grant Smith gets the bonus of adding a positive trait of his choosing, or removing a negative one, as he was the strongest this round overall.

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