Once again, out of the prevaricating mouth of Theresa May, the truth.
The Conservative candidate in Copeland is so concerned about Tory changes to local A&E and maternity services that she has petitioned both the Prime Minister and unnamed health ministers against the proposed changes. When asked directly if May will stand with the Conservative candidate in Copeland against these proposed changes to A&E and maternity services, Theresa May inadvertently acknowledges that they are under threat from being downgraded. May then makes an assertion that Copeland and rural Cumbria will need a ‘strong voice’ arguing for it in the face of what her Tory government have planned.
Bizarrely, May seems to be back in the world of ‘brexit means brexit’. After stating that Labour have misrepresented what she has said about maternity services in Copeland, May is asked to clarify what she has said about maternity services and May’s reply is:
“What I’ve said about maternity services at West Cumberland Hospital.”
So, what May says about West Cumberland Hospital is what May says about West Cumberland hospital. Clear? Good.
I have said before that there were very good reasons why May had to win the Tory leadership unopposed and the above interview is a minute and a half that very neatly underlines why. You would expect such a car crash from a junior minister or from Liz Truss, not a ‘prime’ minister.
So, what does that interview tell us?
- The Tories have plans to downgrade maternity and A&E services in Copeland.
- The Conservative candidate for Copeland is worried enough about the Tories plans that she has petitioned Theresa May and health ministers to rethink and has suggested there is a need to have professionals review the Tory plans.
- The Tories did not use professionals to design their plans for health services and Theresa May and the health minister have no current intention to have professionals review their plans.
A key aspect of Theresa May’s performance (and it is a performance) is that she is an absolute liability off-script and terrible on it. It is very clear that her responses in the interview are scripted, possibly provided by her new communications chief, James Slack of the Daily Mail. It is telling that Theresa May did not say ‘health’ professionals when she mentioned that the Conservative candidate has suggested they use professionals to review plans. Theresa May talks about issues with recruitment, are the ‘professionals’ the health minister is “thinking about” employing to review that area of their plans ‘recruitment’ professionals? Is it the Tories’ intention to out source recruitment for the NHS to recruitment agencies?
I’ve written about May’s performance before:
Bamboozled By Bullshine: Tories speak with forked tongues but don’t expect the media to hold them to account.
And there’s a very obvious trend established to prop her up:
The rag tag May assembled as her cabinet really should have had senior political editor’s alarm bells ringing off the hook but the likes of Laura Kuenssberg appear to have been acting as if they have received instructions to offer some sort of soft soap coverage of the new and second successively hapless Tory Prime Minister; even going as far as trying to pass off May’s inability to provide answers during Prime Minister’s Questions as a commendable trait.
Liz Truss: Is it her fault that when Theresa May went to the well of Tory talent for her cabinet May was faced with slim pickings?
Things have become so bad with May that she has been provided a minder/hatchet man from the Daily Mail but what they can’t do is hide her from the public altogether, as the Tories did with Michael Gove during the 2015 general election.