Yvette Cooper MP: A complete change of government is needed

The government in Westminster is in complete disarray and our towns are losing out as a result.

By Jane Chippindale
Wednesday, 20th July 2022, 2:58 pm

Yvette Cooper MP writes: Boris Johnson’s decision to cling on to Downing Street for as long as possible is making things even worse. Only a complete change of government is going to get things sorted out and get our towns the fair deal we deserve.The shambles in Westminster means our northern towns are missing out on the investment we urgently need. Really important decisions are being delayed – including our bid for government investment from the Levelling Up Fund in Knottingley. Over the last 12 years, Knottingley has been hard hit by government cuts and austerity. That’s why I urged Wakefield Council to put forward a bid for new investment for Knottingley town centre and I’ve been urging government ministers to back it. Wakefield Council has done loads of work and put forward proposals for £18 million investment for new sports and leisure facilities, to improve Hill Top and boost town centre businesses. But thanks to government chaos, the bidding process has suddenly been delayed with no explanation. That’s not fair on Knottingley or towns across the country that badly need investment restored.It’s chaotic in other areas too. Local families are waiting months for passports and driving licences. Crime is going up. Prosecutions are going down. Waiting times for NHS appointments or for cases going to court are all going up. And most important of all, local families are under real pressure as prices keep going up and energy bills soar. The cost of living crisis is really hitting.Let’s be honest. Some of these issues aren’t new. We’ve had 12 years of low economic growth, wages falling behind and growing problems in our public services like NHS and policing where neighbourhood police have been cut back from our streets.But to have Boris Johnson clinging on in Downing Street is making things worse. No one in any party trusts a word he says any more and there are all kinds of allegations now flying around that he is staying on to use his last few months to appoint more of his friends to the House of Lords or other positions of power. That’s not on.Just last week we learnt of serious security concerns around the prime minster’s meetings with former Russian agents while he was foreign secretary. In the middle of the Salisbury poisoning crisis which involved a chemical attack by Russian agents on British soil, Boris Johnson has admitted he travelled to Italy and met with an ex-KGB agent without taking any officials or security with him. He couldn’t even remember whether he told anyone about it when he got back. This kind of thing is extremely irresponsible and puts national security at risk. That’s one of many reasons why I and others have called for Boris Johnson to just go now before he causes any more damage.Our country, our regions and our towns deserve better than we are getting from this government. Just replacing Boris Johnson with one of the many Conservative MPs that has been defending him through the lies and the law breaking or has been part of the last 12 years of failure is not good enough. That’s why I and other Labour MPs have been arguing it’s time for change. Only an entirely new government will give us the fresh start we need.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson addresses the nation as he announces his resignation outside 10 Downing Street, on July 7 (Getty Images)