Theresa May used to criticise the nasty party – now she is leading it

October 5, 2016 1:06 PM
Originally published by UK Liberal Democrats

Theresa May (By Chatham House (Countering Terrorism: A Global Perspective) [CC BY 2.0 (], via Wikimedia Commons)Theresa May used to criticise the nasty party' - now she is leading it.

Regardless of the rhetoric, the Conservatives have moved to the right. The Prime Minister's words about a pitch to the centre-ground are utterly divorced from her party's actions over the last few days. The Conservatives are reckless, divisive and uncaring. They are the fence-building, snooping-on-your-emails, foreign-worker-listing party and that is something that most people will be revulsed by.

Each of the major announcements from her Party's Conference will make Britain a less open, less tolerated less united place. They are the actions of a Nasty Party willing to play on prejudice for their own ends. Theresa May used to criticise the Tory Party for this approach, now she is leading it.

Here are 10 times that Tories have been the 'nasty party' this week:

1. Confirming hard Brexit

In her speech on Sunday, Theresa May confirmed that shutting down immigration will take precedent over our continued access to the Single Market as part of Brexit negotiations. As a result, the pound fell to a 31 year low against the dollar, meaning we are all relatively poorer than we were at the start of the Conservative Conference.

It means turning their backs on business, making it harder for businesses to keep creating jobs, paying taxes and contributing to our country.

2. Doubling down on selective schooling based on unfair tests

Education Secretary, Justine Greening set our her ambition to expand grammar and selective schools, returning us to a divided country, where a test at the age of 11 determines your place in life.

Her approach will fail poorer students- less than three per cent of children who go to grammar schools are eligible for free school meals and thirteen per cent of grammar school entrants come from primary schools outside of the state sector.

Grammar schools are far from the engines of social mobility that the Conservatives' claim. This is an education policy which will benefit the well off at the expense of the children from more deprived backgrounds; and which is in the interests of the few rather than the many.

3. Using EU Citizens as bargaining chips

On Tuesday, Liam Fox described EU Nationals Living in the UK as 'one of our main cards' in the Brexit negotiations.

Only the Nasty Party could see the millions of EU citizens who have built their lives here, our neighbours, colleagues and spouses, as political bargaining chips.

Think that's despicable? Add your name here.

4. Being 'unfazed' by tens of thousands of job losses

Brexit Minister David Davis was reported to have been unconcerned at a meeting of business leaders when it was put to him that hard Brexit could cause the loss of 75,000 jobs in the City of London. Those attending said he 'didn't seem fazed' by the suggestion of tens of thousands of UK jobs being lost.

Every job loss is awful for that employee and their family, and bad for our economy.

5. Forcing businesses to record foreign nationals

In her speech on Tuesday, Home Secretary Amber Rudd announced plans to force businesses to record the number of foreign nationals working in their businesses in order to 'name and shame' them.

The move risks further stoking the resentment that has seen an increase in hate crime across our country. It shows that the Tories under Theresa May are prepared to stoke xenophobia for their own ends.

What's more, it also hugely undermines businesses' ability to recruit the best and the brightest from around the world, ultimately hitting us all in our pockets.

6. Holding our solders to a lower standard

Defence Secretary, Michael Fallon, attacked the Human Rights Act and said that in future Britain would derogate from the European Convention on Human Rights in future conflicts.

Far from protecting our armed forces, this undermines the reputation of our troops as the best trained forces in the world.

7. Clamping down on foreign students

Amber Rudd announced plans to further crack down on foreign students studying at British universities. This risks further undermining the reputation of British universities, which are among the best in the world, and depriving them of a vital source of funding.

It also risk diminishing our country's ability to attract the best young minds to the UK, helping fuel innovation and create new industries.

8. Attacking doctors

The Prime Minister suggested that overseas doctors who work tirelessly in our NHS may only be allowed to stay in the UK for a limited period. Treating vital members of our health service as something to be used and discarded is a disgraceful approach to people to whom many owe their lives.

Meanwhile, Jeremy Hunt also suggested that British Doctors who go and work abroad could be fined for leaving the NHS. Given the resentment he has created among Junior Doctors it is no surprise people would not want to work in our underfunded service.

9. Jeopardising funding for schools and hospitals

Theresa May has been reported to have downgraded protecting the City of London in her plans for Brexit negotiations, despite Philip Hammond originally saying they would work to protect Britain's world leading financial sector. The City of London generates almost 3% of our GDP and our financial services pay £65 billion in tax each year. Jeopardising this means jeopardising schools, hospitals and public services across the country who rely on this funding.

10. Checks for taxi drivers

Amber Rudd went even further in her attack on immigrants who make their home here and contribute, saying that from December anyone wanting to get a taxi license will be subject to mandatory immigration checks.

It's clear - the Conservatives are the nasty party once more - their plans will make Britain less open, less tolerant and less united - and with Labour dancing to their tune on immigration, it's clear that only the Liberal Democrats will stand up for an open, tolerant and united Britain.

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