Theresa May’s Promises to Tory Members: Then and Now

A co-conspirator gets in touch to point Guido towards the promises Theresa May made in her speeches during the Tory leadership campaign, and her early speeches as Prime Minister. There are some whoppers…

She broke her promises on calling an election and not triggering Article 50 until the UK had an agreed strategy – two decisions that the history books will not look upon kindly. She promised to put Dexeu in charge of the negotiation and make sure a Brexiteer was doing Brexit – that didn’t happen. Guido had forgotten May’s promise not to raise taxes – tax rises are coming in the autumn to fund her NHS splurge.

“There should be no general election until 2020.” General election: 8 May 2017.

“There should be no decision to invoke Article 50 until the British negotiating strategy is agreed and clear.” Article 50 triggered: 29 March 2017. Cabinet Brexit strategy agreed: 7 July 2018.

“If before 2020 there is a choice between further spending cuts, more borrowing and tax rises, the priority must be to avoid tax increases since they would disrupt consumption, employment and investment.” NHS spending increase, funded by “us as a country contributing a bit more [tax]” 17 June 2018.

In her 2017 party conference speech May made the promise again: “With our economic foundation strong – and economic confidence restored – the time has come to focus on Britain’s next big economic challenge: to foster growth that works for everyone, right across our country. That means keeping taxes low.”

“I will therefore create a new government department responsible for conducting Britain’s negotiation with the EU and for supporting the rest of Whitehall in its European work. That department will be led by a senior Secretary of State – and I will make sure that the position is taken by a Member of Parliament who campaigned for Britain to leave the EU.” Theresa May takes personal charge of Brexit talks: 24th July 2018.

“Now is not the time for me to set out my full negotiating principles – that will come later.” Not sure people would have inferred two years later.

“I will dedicate my premiership to fixing this problem [housing]… as Prime Minister I am going to make it my mission to solve this problem. I will take personal charge of the government’s response, and make the British Dream a reality by reigniting home ownership in Britain once again.” We’re on our second Housing Secretary this year, a damp squib housing policy and silence from May…

“The Conservative Party can come together – and under my leadership it will.” Err…

You can see why Tory members would have quite liked her promises to stay true to Brexit and not raise taxes. You can also see why they’re so disillusioned now…




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John McDonnell tells the Gallery/Lobby lunch what the priest told him to do…

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