Theresa May has been branded ‘weak and wobbly’ after she performed another embarrassing U-turn today.
With little over two weeks to go to the snap general election – itself called because of a U-turn by Mrs May – she was criticised for her party’s shift in policy.
Is Theresa May about to announce U-turn on social care? Would that make her strong and stable, or weak and wobbly? pic.twitter.com/bdPqDzYuRk
— Michael Crick (@MichaelLCrick) May 22, 2017
Mrs May announced the change to the so-called ‘dementia tax’ in Wrexham on Monday morning, revealing that plans for social care reform will now include a cap on total contributions.
She was then questioned by Channel 4’s political correspondent, Michael Crick, who asked her: ‘Doesn’t this show that you are really weak and wobbly, not strong and stable?’
Mrs May denied making a U-turn, but Labour and the Lib Dems described the policy as ‘in meltdown’.
Theresa May is making a strong and stable U-turn on Dementia Tax.
— Iain Aitch (@iainaitch) May 22, 2017
The Liberal Democrats accused Mrs May of ‘panic’, while Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn said her government was mired in ‘chaos and confusion’.
Political commentators and journalists were quick to seize on the policy change, accusing Mrs May of yet another dramatic shift.
Theresa May U-turn on:
Theresa May U-turns from strong and stable to weak and wobbly.
— James Melville (@JamesMelville) May 22, 2017
It is just the latest change of heart by the prime minister. Here are her most embarrassing U-turns so far:
1. The ‘dementia tax’
The Conservative Party plans to make people receiving care at home liable for the full costs if they are worth at least £100,000. Last week’s Conservative manifesto did not mention a cap, but Mrs May brought it up on Monday. Critics used her own endlessly repeated slogan, ‘strong and stable leadership’, to attack her, calling her ‘weak and wobbly’.
2. The rise in National Insurance
In March, chancellor Philip Hammond announced that the self-employed would pay more national insurance contributions, which contravened a previous Tory promise made in their 2015 manifesto. The backlash was so severe that Mrs May changed her mind and the plan was scrapped within a week.
3. The General Election
Mrs May spent most of her early months as Prime Minister vociferously denying that she had any intention of calling a snap general election this year. But by mid-April, all of that bluster had gone out of the window, and she announced that the country was going back to the polls on June 8.
4. Workers on company boards
Last September, Mrs May promised that companies would be forced to put workers on their boards, in order to give them a say in how they are run. But the plan was later dumped and last week’s Tory manifesto makes the proposal only optional.
5. British bill of rights
During the referendum campaign, Mrs May proposed leaving the European Convention of Human Rights (ECHR), saying it can hold parliament back and make the UK less secure, advocating instead for a British bill of rights. But she dropped the idea in time to run for the Conservative leadership, and the party’s recent manifesto makes it clear the country will adhere to the ECHR.