‘Chaos, confusion and tumult’: Welwyn Hatfield political leaders slam no-confidence vote

PUBLISHED: 12:18 12 December 2018 | UPDATED: 13:10 12 December 2018

Clockwise from left: Labour prospective parliamentary candidate Rosie Newbigging, Liberal Democrat prospective parliamentary candidate for Welwyn Hatfield Cllr Barbara Gibson, Labour East of England MEP Alex Mayer, and Welwyn Hatfield Labour group leader Cllr Kieran Thorpe. Pictures: supplied

Clockwise from left: Labour prospective parliamentary candidate Rosie Newbigging, Liberal Democrat prospective parliamentary candidate for Welwyn Hatfield Cllr Barbara Gibson, Labour East of England MEP Alex Mayer, and Welwyn Hatfield Labour group leader Cllr Kieran Thorpe. Pictures: supplied

supplied

Labour and Liberal Democrat politicians across Welwyn Hatfield and beyond have expressed their views on the Conservative leadership challenge to the Prime Minister.

Theresa May will face a confidence vote as Prime Minister at 6pm today after a number of Conservative MPs wrote letters stating they no longer had faith in her as leader.

Reacting, Labour’s prospective parliamentary candidate Rosie Newbigging called the current government “a shambles”.

“They’ve made our country the laughing stock of Europe and now they’ve turned on each other.

“Britain doesn’t just deserve, but needs better – but it’s clear that there is a vacuum in leadership regardless of the result of any no confidence vote in Theresa May.

“This is a government unable to deal with any of the major issues affecting our country, including the single one they have focused on for two years.

“On their watch we’ve seen shocking levels of poverty and inequality, foodbank use and homelessness increasing and vital public services in crisis.

“We can’t go on like this anymore, it’s not only time for new leadership, but a new government.”

Cllr Kieran Thorpe, Welwyn Hatfield Council Labour group leader, said: “What little credibility remained of Theresa May’s contemptible shambles of a government evaporated with her incoherent judgement to defer the Brexit vote this week, and I am not surprised that Tory MPs have now decided enough is enough.

“Those inclined to feel sorry for her should be aware that her government, overwhelmed by paralysis and infighting, has led to important decisions such as Welwyn Hatfield’s funding arrangements being delayed indefinitely.

“This makes it difficult for the council to effectively plan its budget for the New Year - jeopardising the public services and tax setting that affect everyone.

“The chaos and division that David Cameron warned against but he himself delivered is playing out now while Welwyn Hatfield’s local MP sits on the fence deciding what’s in his own best interests.”

Welwyn Hatfield’s MP Grant Shapps has so far not responded to the Welwyn Hatfield Times’ requests for comment.

The prospective parliamentary candidate for the Liberal Democrats, Barbara Gibson, told the Welwyn Hatfield Times: “It’s really sad that once again they are focusing on internal political games when they should be focusing on the national interest.”

Cllr Gibson thinks that Tory MPs ought to keep Theresa May as leader. “I think the position she’s in is entirely of the party’s making.

“She’s been put in a near impossible position ... they’ve set her up for this and she’s played right into it.

On dominant figures such as Boris Johnson, Jacob Rees-Mogg, Michael Gove, Dominic Raab or David Davis, she said: “I shudder to think what would happen if any of them were to be leader.”

She added: “But the country’s problems will not be solved by a Tory power struggle.

“With three months to go before we leave the EU, this is not the time for an internal Tory leadership struggle.”

Welwyn Hatfield Liberal Democrat group leader Malcolm Cowan agreed with Cllr Gibson on the poor timing of the challenge.

He said that Theresa May leaving would be “the right decision at the wrong time”, describing her performance today during Prime Ministers’ Questions as “the standard of a fourth former at school”.

Labour’s Alex Mayer, MEP for the East of England, said: “This is an extraordinary act of self indulgence by the Conservatives who are, as ever, more concerned about themselves than the fate of the country.

“We don’t need a Tory leadership contest, we need a general election or a People’s Vote on the deal.

“My colleagues in Brussels and Strasbourg are frankly bewildered. Chaos, confusion and tumult reigns.”

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