Keir Starmer poised to cash in on Boris Johnson’s ‘catastrophe’ as Tories face extinction | UK | News (Reports)


The UK has entered recession after a 20.4 percent contraction between April and June. The UK’s slump is also one of the biggest among advanced economies, according to preliminary estimates. Chancellor Rishi Sunak warned last month that the recession would represent a difficult time for the country. Despite this, the Chancellor has shown no intent to extend the furlough scheme once more, with the deadline currently set for the end of October. At the start of August, up to 4.5 million people in Britain remained furloughed, according to the Resolution Foundation. A total of 9.6 million people have benefited from the scheme since its launch in March, at 1.2 million companies, at a cost of £34billion to the exchequer so far. Taking the decision not to extend would be disastrous, according to Richard Murphy of Tax Research UK, who said the Labour Party could capitalise on the impending disaster. He told “How does a Government lose a 26-point lead in six months? Well he has.

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“Is that trend going to stop? There’s a hard core of Tory voters, there always has been, but the swing voters are swinging heavily against the Conservative Party because they know they are at risk.

“And they don’t believe this Government is protecting their health, and soon they are going to believe it isn’t protecting their jobs or their homes, and at that point the Conservatives are in deep trouble.”

Since Mr Murphy’s comments, a YouGov Westminster voting intention survey in late August had the Tories ahead by seven points with 43 percent of the vote.

However, with the furlough scheme soon coming to an end, he believes the Conservatives could hand Labour the upper hand.

Mr Murphy added: “The day the unemployed realise their children are impacted by this, the Government will fear that those people start protesting.

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“They’ll say ‘you could have kept us in work and our homes, but you didn’t because you prioritised the national debt.’

“Those people could then vote Labour, at every level this threatens the Conservative Government’s survival.

“If they don’t extend the furlough scheme it will be catastrophic, both politically for the Conservatives and economically for the country.

“If he [Rishi Sunak] goes back, and he is signalling this, to ‘sound finance’ – by which he means prioritising the debt, he will write the death knell of this Conservative government.”

On Keir Starmer, Mr Murphy claimed that the Labour leader must be ready to capitalise if the Government’s economic policy fails.

He added: “Have we seen the true Starmer yet? No. But he needs to be ready to go into overdrive when the Government goes into meltdown.”

The Prime Minister has come under pressure in recent weeks as former UK leaders condemn his efforts to rewrite the Brexit withdrawal agreement.

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The Government has also come under fire for its handling of the coronavirus pandemic as testing delays compromise the UK’s fight against the crisis.

At PMQs on Wednesday, Labour’s deputy leader Angela Rayner said the Prime Minister had “time and again” made pledges on testing but “then breaks those promises”.

Mr Johnson defended the Government’s record, saying the UK had “done more tests than any other European country”.

He said it was trying to meet a “colossal spike” in demand at “record speed”, adding that 89 percent of tests done in person were being returned the next day.

While the Conservatives appear to be holding on to much of its support – a simultaneous recession, health crisis and Brexit row will pile the pressure on Mr Johnson.


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