Voices: Shoes, Instagram – can you name anything else that Rishi Sunak really cares about?

The lazy rhetoric that Labour doesn’t have any plans or policy is of great annoyance to me at the moment.

Let’s just put aside the fact that as a Labour frontbencher who leads on policy around crime and safeguarding, I have written reams of policy about how domestic and sexual violence could be prevented and justice could be served. Some of this policy I have managed to get the government to adopt over the last two years, because their plans are largely empty words and platitudes about understanding the problem.

Rachel Reeves, the Labour shadow chancellor, has at every stage of the cost of living crisis come up with a plan. VAT coming of energy bills, targeted support for the poorest households, windfall taxes on big energy producers, fully funded caps on energy bills, the protection of the uprating of benefits and the triple lock for pensioners – remember those?

She spoke against raising the national insurance rates in a time of crisis and tried valiantly to explain to one of the many chancellors of the exchequer that their corporation tax cuts were folly and would do nothing for the woeful growth rates and lack of investment.

Along with others, she has laid out plans for growth in jobs in the green economy and plans to protect homes from the kind of shocks we have seen to energy bills – not just this year, but for many years to come.

Many of the things Labour have called for have been adopted later on by the government as it flounders in its own failing plans. In the tearoom in Westminster, on the morning before the afternoon when Rishi Sunak dodged democracy and was crowned Conservative leader, I asked a current cabinet minister who he was supporting for the leadership of his party. His joking response was: “Rachel Reeves, she seems to tell us what to do.”

The reason this rhetoric annoys me is because I cannot think of a single thing that Sunak cares about. I have absolutely no idea what his platform for government is other than being better than Liz Truss, which, frankly, a lettuce managed.

What exactly is Sunak’s plan for my children and my constituents? I am drawing a complete and utter blank. I know what he has done for my family while he has served in government. He has left them with a late cancer diagnosis that may very well kill one of them, and he left my father sitting on a chair for 17 hours in A&E after he had already waited over 10 hours for an ambulance. I guess my father was the lucky one, my mother-in-law was sadly added to the grim statistics of rising excess deaths in A&E. He has left every single person in my constituency poorer.

He says he cares about NHS, and I was at an event where he leant on his family links to our health service. But what about it does he care about, exactly? What’s his plan for more staff, where is his driving passion to end cancer diagnosis waits? We all care about the NHS, mate, some of us even use it.

According to Jeremy Hunt in his autumn statement, Sunak really cares about education and sees it as a key driver. Can’t say I have seen any evidence of that. I certainly can’t point to any real plan to ensure my sons have a better future. While he served in government, their class sizes grew and the hours their schools were open shortened.

So what is his plan? I know he donated £100,00 to his old boarding school which he thinks should be afforded charitable status. I guess we know he cares about that school. I know he would rather stand down than send his kids to school with my kids, or my constituents’ kids. What – other than saying education matters – is the plan?

To keep up to speed with all the latest opinions and comment, sign up to our free weekly Voices Dispatches newsletter by clicking here

On women’s safety, this week he tried to show us he cared by leaning on the good old “I’ve got daughters” line. Perhaps the women in his constituency don’t go to him having been beaten, raped and controlled as they do in mine. But I have two sons, so maybe I can’t understand.

Maybe he has also given £100,000 to a local women’s refuge just like he did with his boarding school. I guess that would show he cared a bit. But what is he doing about women’s safety? I don’t know and it is my job to know. So far, he’s presided over rising rates of abuse and falling prosecutions. I assume that’s not the plan, merely the reality.

This week, the mysterious PM had to pull a plan for more housing, due to a rebellion from his own MPs who don’t want any houses in their areas. So his drive isn’t housing. Is he a lover of local councils, a passionate advocate of our justice system? Is his burning passion the environment which he just forgot about when he said he wasn’t going to Cop27?

Most days in Westminster are currently spent finishing off old legislation from previous versions of the Conservative show. I haven’t noticed anything new coming through, any radical policy reform or new horizon. What exactly is his platform?

Tell a lie, I know he likes shoes and Instagram.