The Tory manifesto, largely the product of May and her chief advisors Nick Timothy and Fiona Hill, was a miserable shambles. The trouble was, George Osborne’s 2015 manifesto had also proved utterly undeliverable. It was an exercise in calculated charlatanry, with unspecified welfare cuts to support an unachievable spending target while promising the earth to the middle classes.
In a couple of weeks, Philip Hammond will deliver his second Budget and the first since the snap general election. Stevens outlined stark consequences for patients, with clear political consequences: without substantial extra funding next year, we would turn back years of progress that have seen waiting times for surgery fall from 18 months to 18 weeks. By 2020, the waiting list could reach five million people.
In the 12 months to March 2017, the number of looked-after children in England Wales reached 72,670 - the biggest annual surge in seven years.
Philip Hammond’s newfound career as the Che Guevara of Brexit, fighting a valiant guerilla campaign against the Cabinet headbangers, appears to have ended. The chancellor wrote a joint op-ed with Liam Fox in yesterday’s Sunday Telegraph, like a man at a political show trial forced to renounce his beliefs, ruling out a smooth transition. “We are both clear that during [the transition] the UK will be outside the single market and outside the customs union and will be a ‘third-country’ not party to EU treaties,” it read.