Analysis: Labour Party Steps Up Its Game While Tory MPs Have Nothing To Say

·3-min read
Keir Starmer and Rachel Reeves (Photo: Sky News and BBC Breakfast)
Keir Starmer and Rachel Reeves (Photo: Sky News and BBC Breakfast)

Keir Starmer and Rachel Reeves (Photo: Sky News and BBC Breakfast)

The devastating increase in energy bills is the single most important issue facing the British public today.

But, on the day it was announced that the price cap is set to soar by 80 per cent, where are all the Tory MPs?

Why aren’t they speaking out to reassure their hard working constituents? Where are all those media-savvy 2019ers? The Rottweilers of cabinet?

Not so long ago, we had a government that loved to pump out headlines. So confident in their mission, they even planned daily White House style press conferences and dished out £2.6 million for a briefing room.

But not a single minister was scheduled for the usual media round on national TV and radio on Friday morning to defend the government.

The chancellor Nadhim Zahawi - likely to be replaced in a week’s time - did give a clip to broadcasters.

He said they were determined to “face down” Russian president Vladimir Putin by helping “vulnerable families”. However, there was nothing new, not an inkling of what the government might do to help.

The same can be said for both the Tory leadership hopefuls - Liz Truss and Rishi Sunak - who offered their thoughts and promises to act.

Meanwhile, outgoing prime minister Boris Johnson popped up to reiterate forthcoming government support - originally announced back in May.

Ultimately, the country must wait until September 5 when the new prime minister is announced to find out what the government really will do.

So, while Tory MPs keep shtum, the Labour Party is stepping into the breach.

Shadow chancellor Rachel Reeves was sent out to bang the drum for Labour and delivered an assured performance.

She battered the government for their “dereliction of duty”, telling them to follow her plan to freeze energy bills and extend the windfall tax.

“That is what Labour would do if we were in government now,” she said.

It is worth pointing out that fact checkers and think tanks have questioned Labour’s figures - but at least they have a plan.

Labour has 10 more days to hammer home their vision before the new prime minister inevitably dominates the headlines.

After initially being a tad slow to fill the void, Labour now have a free run to show they are a party ready for government.

And note Labour leader Keir Starmer’s language when he spoke to broadcasters on Friday: “So many people have said to me: ‘Keir I may not be the hardest up, but I’m going to struggle to pay these bills’.

“Small businesses are saying: ‘We had two years of Covid and we’re now expected to meet these price rises’.”

Reader take note: He is making a direct pitch to those who might have voted Tory at the last election.

Tory MPs and staffers are privately pulling their hair out as their party remains paralysed and divided by the race to replace Johnson.

The bitter and drawn-out competition has been nothing but an act of self-harm for the Conservative Party.

Unable to end the race early and unable to work together, the party of “levelling up” has nothing to say at this time of national crisis.

If Labour can avoid its own factional infighting, they have an opportunity now to cut through with a public desperately worried about energy bills.

This article originally appeared on HuffPost UK and has been updated.