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Tory Conference Diary, Day 4: May's Disaster Of A Speech Proved The Tories Have No Plan

05/10/2017 15:45 BST | Updated 05/10/2017 15:45 BST
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As Tory Conference comes to a close many of the papers and broadcast channels have obviously focused in on the mishaps which plagued Theresa May's speech. But aside from the cough and the falling backdrop, the true disaster of the speech lies in the fact that we had final confirmation that the Tories really do have no plan.

We were promised a rebooted Theresa May, with purpose and in touch with the concerns working people and young people across the country. A rebooted Conservative Party with a plan for Britain.

Instead of rebooted we got rehashed: repackaged Tory policies already announced, watered-down versions of ideas from Labour, and a couple of lacklustre proposals that fail to meet the scale of the problems Britain faces. This was just another sorry set of announcements marking seven years of Tory failure.

By the time the speech reached its merciful end there had been no mention of NHS performance with the upcoming winter crisis; no mention of her arbitrary net migration target; and nothing on security for pensioners or support for disabled people.

The handful of announcements she did make were thin gruel. An additional £2 billion for house building, which was quickly exposed as equating to a paltry 5,000 new homes a year. Even with the extra money, the Tories are still spending less than half of what Labour did in its last year in office; while the 5,000 homes pales in comparison to the 100,000 who have been on the social and council housing waiting list for five years.

A cap on energy prices that is the final product of no less than three u-turns. Once decried by the Tories as "extremely dangerous", then adopted as party policy by Theresa May, rowed back on after election defeat, and now finally set to go ahead after a mounting campaign from Labour and rebellion from her own MPs. Don't worry, there's time for another u-turn yet, as the measure will only make it into a "draft bill" next week, meaning there is little chance of it becoming law until the start of the next Parliamentary session in a year-and-a-half's time.

And one more u-turn for good measure: maintenance grants will be making a comeback after a certain Conservative Party scrapped them last year. On how many grants there would, for how much, and when, the Prime Minister was not forthcoming, so prospective students will just have to trust that the Conservatives have their best interests at heart.

Theresa May said her agenda still holds since her first speech as Prime Minister, but from her performance today we can see nothing has changed.

The Tories have no plan and they continue to fail the many.

Only Labour has a plan to deal with the real challenges facing the country. Only Labour will build a Britain for the many not the few.