Last Week in Politics

Last week we brought you the politics news in simple terms ranging from Boris Johnson’s middle-class insults to UKIP’s moaning. Seems like forever ago? Well, they do say a week is a long time in politics.

So, that’s why we’ve condensed another week down to some simple points, including the local elections and some embarrassing moments in the election campaign.

1. Tony Blair said he’s coming back *collective gulp*

blair

Yes, Tony Blair said on Sunday that he was making a return to politics to influence the Brexit debate.

He ruled out standing for election on June 8th but did say that he wants to start a new movement as Theresa May (who he’s betting on winning the election) negotiates with the European Union.

survey that came out yesterday said that Tony Blair was actually less popular with the British public than Jeremy Corbyn. So we’ll see how that one works out for him…

2. Tuesday saw Theresa visit Cornwall but there was not a pasty (or local journalist) in sight

Instead, the Prime Minister tucked into some chips (the alcohol and cigarette aren’t real, unfortunately. That’s Nigel Farage’s image after all) and didn’t speak to any ordinary people.

In a common theme of her election campaign, Mrs May had an audience of Conservative Party members and banned certain questions from the press, causing outrage among local journalists in Cornwall in particular.

They said they were kept in a room, prevented from filming and were restricted severely on what questions they could ask the PM.

3. You won’t have missed this one: Diane Abbott messing up the figures

diane abbott

Labour’s Shadow Home Secretary Diane Abbott couldn’t quite get her figures right regarding her policy on police recruitment.

Abbott was asked how Labour would fund its pledge to recruit an extra 10,000 police officers and ended up giving wrong figures (multiple times) that would mean each “policeman” (she also forgot women) would be paid very little. It was embarrassing.

But she did it again!

When asked about Labour’s performance in the local council elections, she got her figures wrong for the second time.

4. What the local elections showed

local elections

So, the local elections saw the Conservatives gain more seats on councils while Labour, the Liberal Democrats, SNP and UKIP lost seats.

UKIP were the biggest losers in this one, even if Labour did lose 380 council seats.

The reason for the frenzy surrounding them is because it is an indicator of how people are likely to vote during the General Election. So far, so good for the Tories, then.

5. Theresa May said Brussels is interfering in the election

brussels

On Wednesday, Theresa May said that European Union leaders are interfering in the British election process through “Brussels gossip”.

It followed comments from a German newspaper that the Brexit talks would end in failure after an awkward meeting at Downing Street last week. The European commission president Jean-Claude Juncker had dinner with Mrs May last Wednesday and when asked if Juncker said such things by the BBC, Theresa May didn’t or couldn’t say no and instead said she didn’t “recall the account” given.

Answer. The. Question.

6. Sunday promises

mcdonnell

Sunday morning is renowned for politics with officials going round the circuit from The Andrew Marr Show to Peston on Sunday to announce new policies.

Tories:

Theresa May decided she’d use politics Sunday to announce a so-called mental health revolution to tackle the “burning injustice”. Here are the three key promises she’s made:

1. She will scrap the “flawed” 1983 Mental Health Act which is apparently “unfit for purpose”.

2. She will end workplace mental health discrimination.

3. She will stop mentally ill people being left in police cells and create 10,000 new jobs for mental health professionals.

So, what are the problems with this?

1. She hasn’t said how they will be funded.

2. The Conservatives have been reducing the number of mental health professionals consistently over time, so technically, it’s not going to get any better than it already was.

FullFact, an independent think tank found: “There were 6,000 fewer nurses in 2015 compared to 2010 in England. There were 170 fewer fully trained doctors specialising in psychiatry and psychotherapy in 2016 compared to 2010.”

Labour:

A huge issue of the campaign so far has been taxes. Shadow Chancellor John McDonnell announced that there will be no rise in tax for 95% of tax payers.

Those earning over £80,000 a year will instead see a rise in taxes and McDonnell said they will pay “a modest bit more” to fund public services. It comes on the day that The Sunday Times reveals their iconic ‘Rich List’, which is a pretty clever move from Labour.

The official figures will be published in the Labour manifesto, as will the Tories’, though they have said they won’t raise VAT (but may do so for other taxes).

We hope that all made sense and last week’s politics wasn’t as crazy as it first seemed.