A new PM can't hide the damage inflicted by this weak and unstable government - Ian Murray MP
There is an old tweet from David Cameron – remember him? – which promised ‘strong and stable government’.
It resurfaces regularly given his party’s abject failure to deliver on that promise in the years hence.
The truth is that, historically, Britain had an international reputation for stability. It has taken an extraordinary level of incompetence by today’s Tories to destroy that reputation.
This matters, not just because other counties are looking on agog, but because it has a direct impact on our economy here.
The market turmoil of recent weeks, caused directly by the incumbents of Downing Street trashing the economy, is about much more than share prices or bonds. It’s about monthly mortgage payments for Edinburgh homeowners, which are already rising – with a lot worse to come when fixed deals come to an end.
It’s about food prices, with figures showing basic staples like pasta are up 60 per cent, with tea up 46 per cent and bread up 38 per cent.
It’s about wage stagnation or even decline – average earnings in Edinburgh South fell by £29-a-week between 2019 and 2021 and will have fallen more this year.
And it’s about the cost of doing business; the number of enterprises in my constituency has fallen to its lowest level since 2015.
Cameron’s tweet could not have aged worse - the Tories have become the party of instability.
Households across the country are awaiting the new administration’s tax and spending plans, which has now been delayed for a further two weeks.
And remember, this emergency budget is having to happen because the Tories made such a mess of the last one a few weeks ago that they caused a run on the pound.
We may have a new Prime Minister, but we have the same weak and unstable government.
And there is perhaps no greater sign of Sunak’s weakness than his reappointment of Suella Braverman as Home Secretary. She resigned just six days ago earlier after a national security breach, having shared private government documents with an external individual through a personal email account.
And now she has been reappointed to the Cabinet post overseeing national security.
So the Tories have not only lost any claim to be the party of stability, they have also lost any claim to be the party of security.
There must be a full investigation into the security breaches by the Home Secretary, including the warnings given by impartial and dedicated civil servants.
But the investigations shouldn’t stop there.
We need a probe into Sunak’s boast that he changed funding formulas to redirect taxpayers’ money from “deprived” urban areas to affluent Tory shires.
Let’s add ‘levelling up’ to the list of phrases that this Conservative government can no longer credibly use.
I doubt the new Prime Minister will agree to these investigations. He fears the outcome just as he fears the outcome of a General Election, which he knows will see this corrupt and incompetent government kicked out.
But Sunak can’t hide from the public’s judgement forever – the people will have their say soon enough.