POLITICS

Here's How Theresa May's U-Turn Played On The Doorstep Seconds After She Announced It

HuffPost UK witnessed a Tory candidate break the news to voters

22/05/2017 20:52 BST | Updated 22/05/2017 21:26 BST

If Theresa May was hoping for an instant bounce after her social care funding u-turn, she got in Colchester.

Tory candidate Will Quince was out canvassing for support in the seat he won from the Lib Dems in 2015 when news of the policy shift came through.

After being read out the details of his leader’s speech from the HuffPost UK, Quince continued knocking on doors in the Essex town – and the very next people he spoke to raised concerns over the policy.

Harry and Pam Trott, 72 and 70 years old respectively, told Quince that although they planned to vote Tory on June 8 the social care plan announced last week by the Prime Minister was a concern for them.

Pam’s mother spent £150,000 of her own money when she was placed in residential care, and although the Trotts were prepared for some change to be made to how social care is funded, the lack of a cap was worrying.

To visible relief from the couple, Quince was able to tell them that there would be a limit on what people would be expected to pay – although he was not aware of what that would be.

“Oh that’s great,” said Pam. “That was what was causing me worry, but it’s good she’s listened.”

Colchester Conservatives
Tory candidate Will Quince. 

Speaking to HuffPost UK once his canvassing round for the morning had been completed, Quince welcomed May’s “clarification” of the policy.

However, he had not been aware any u-turn was coming, and had to listen to audio clips of the Prime Minister’s press conference in his car in order to get up-to-speed.

He said: “Although it hasn’t been coming up on the doorstep very much, I have had several emails to people who are potentially concerned, especially those who have either got people in care at the moment or will do in the near future.”

Quince praised his party leader for seeking to “be bold and address this for the long term.”

“She hasn’t fudged it, she hasn’t ducked the issue, she’s done the right thing for the country and that’s put forward a proposal,” he said.

However, like a number of Tory MPs, Quince is clearly frustrated with the way the policy on social care – “which is without question one of the biggest issues we face as a country” - was initially presented at the manifesto launch last week.

He said: “Any candidate would have hoped any policy would have been properly stress tested. How rigorously that was done? We don’t know.

“It’s one of those things - policy was announced, there was a reaction to it, people asking for more information more detail, a little bit of concern, so it’s right that she acted and acted quickly.”