Brexit: Tory chaos shows need for general election – Danielle Rowley MP

The latest YouGov poll has backed Theresa May staying in power. Picture: Matt Dunham/AFP/Getty Images
The latest YouGov poll has backed Theresa May staying in power. Picture: Matt Dunham/AFP/Getty Images
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The Tories are in crisis and Theresa May has lost all authority. Having led her Government to be the first in history to be found in contempt of Parliament, lost three important Brexit votes and ducked another to avoid defeat, she now faces a vote of no confidence from her own MPs.

The Tories have never cared about the people of Scotland. And this latest grubby episode shows they are more interested in fighting among themselves than tackling the big issues facing our communities.

While they tear themselves apart, homelessness is on the rise – almost 100 rough sleepers died on the streets of Scotland last year – one in four children are living in poverty, and more than 6,500 youngsters face Christmas without a home.

More and more people are going hungry and relying on foodbanks. Charities and community workers are telling us they’re seeing parents who are going without food so their children can eat.

Something is going very seriously wrong in our economic and political system and needs to change.

Labour has a clear plan, not just for negotiating a Brexit deal that protects jobs, our economy and people’s rights – something the Tories have proved they are incapable of doing – but also for transforming Scotland and the rest of the UK, so we can fix these urgent issues.

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Ultimately we need a general election. And Labour is ready to fight one and win.

It is increasingly clear the SNP does not want an election. And their game-playing this week has been exposed today, with the news that Tory MPs will vote on May’s leadership.

Nicola Sturgeon was clear that her demand for Labour to trigger a no-confidence vote in Parliament was not because she wanted, or even expected, to win it – Ian Blackford shared a platform with Tory MP Anna Soubry, who confirmed that if there was such a vote, she would back the Government. The First Minister also admitted their tactic might actually unite the Tories to rally around Mrs May when she looked at her most vulnerable. Thank goodness we didn’t listen to them.

The SNP made clear that what they really wanted was to move immediately to a second Brexit referendum. They are calculating that this would create the conditions for another vote on independence.

None of this is about helping the people of Scotland. It is about causing even more instability and chaos. It is shocking, but not surprising – the SNP have form, having helped Thatcher into power in 1979. And we all know what happened then.

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The crisis happening now in our communities is an emergency, yet the SNP are prepared to keep the Tories in power rather than tackle it, because their first thought is how they can opportunistically use events for their own, singe-track motive.

Serious times like these call for serious responses. We need Labour’s sensible plan for Brexit and we need a general election to get rid this hopeless, divided Government so we can bring about the real change we need for Scotland and the rest of the UK.

Danielle Rowley is Labour MP for Midlothian