Conservative party: Even Tories admit this Zombie Government is 'simply not functioning' as cost of living crisis deepens – Ian Murray MP

The last two weeks of Tory psychodrama have provided us with endless ironies.

It's hard to choose the best one, but I think Michael Gove summed it up perfectly, government is “simply not functioning”.

This will be the third Tory leadership contest in six years, with the UK set to receive its fourth Tory Prime Minister since the Brexit vote.

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I think there might be a pattern emerging here.

This week we have seen the exhibition of candidates for Prime Minister tearing chunks out of Boris Johnson, each other and the Tory record in government for the last 12 years.

Buckle in, because we’ve got another six weeks of this. What a mess.

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Even the former Chancellor said that the plans put forward by his fellow candidates are nothing more than “fantasy economics of unfunded spending promises”.

Johnson can continue with the cheap, outdated jibes about Labour all he likes, but he knows it no longer washes.

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Michael Gove said some core functions of government were 'simply, at the moment, not functioning' (Picture: Jack Taylor/Getty Images)
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Every pledge under Keir Starmer has been fully costed and is deliverable. They are such good policies that the Tories stole the windfall tax on oil and gas companies.

But the Conservative leadership contenders are doing everything they can to distance themselves from a record in government that they have defended time and time again. Why are they taking the public for fools?

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They're all too wrapped up in the soap opera that is their own leadership contest. How can any of them reasonably lead our country? How can any of them be trusted?

The message coming out of this leadership contest is pretty clear: they got us in this mess, and they’ve got no idea how to get us out of it.

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In Tory candidate Kemi Badenoch’s own words “it’s a choice between difficult option A, terrible option B, mad option C”.

While Johnson’s potential successors parade around Westminster doing their best Margaret Thatcher impersonations, schmoozing their chums in the tearoom, government has ground to a halt (if it was every operating).

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As we faced the hottest day on record, this Zombie Government, and its powerless ministers were nowhere to be seen.

It’s been ten months since they closed their National Resilience Strategy consultation, but we saw no plan as Britain baked.

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This government is asleep at the wheel, has failed to learn from the pandemic, and is simply not ready for the climate emergency.

Added to that, over a decade the Conservatives have stripped money from our communities.

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Now they expect those same communities to wait even longer for just a partial refund. If only they put the same effort into levelling up as they put into trying to advance their own careers.

The spectacle of them scrapping like ferrets in a sack, while the cost-of-living crisis gets worse; people can’t get passports; fuel prices keep rising; and parents are worried about the cost of the school uniforms, proves this government has no answers to Britain being stuck on their watch.

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We can no longer afford the chaos, distraction, and self-indulgence of this Conservative party. We need a Labour government that will deliver and be ambitious for every community across the UK.

The Tories have held Britain back for 12 years, and only Labour can provide the fresh start the country needs.

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Ian Murray is Labour MP for Edinburgh South