Labour's Jonathan Ashworth slams 'circular firing squad' in the Tory party

Labour's Jonathan Ashworth slams 'circular firing squad' in the Tory party
Georgia Pearce

By Georgia Pearce

Published: 24/01/2024

- 15:11

Labour's Shadow Paymaster General Jonathan Ashworth has claimed that there is a “circular firing squad in the Tory party” which is more preoccupied with infighting than serving the people.

His comments came during a debate with Science Minister Andrew Griffith during PMQs Live on GB News.

Ashworth said: “We are working very hard to win the trust of the British people in that General Election campaign. We've had different questions from Rwanda, to energy bills, and so on, that shows you what people want to focus on.

“But instead we've got this kind of circular firing squad in the Tory party more preoccupied with infighting and division when people are paying more on their mortgage, more in tax, more in the shops, they can't get an appointment in the NHS, there's chaos at the borders.

“And actually, this is why this country could not turn the corner that it needs to do after 14 years. So we do need change in this country and Labour has a plan to re-build the NHS, raise living standards, and grow our economy.”

In a discussion with Christopher Hope and Gloria De Piero, Andrew Griffith countered: “This is a government that is not afraid to take tough choices and we live in a volatile, difficult geopolitical situation.

“You can see the British armed forces as well as supporting vicariously the very difficult situation in Ukraine, are actively trying to bring peace to the Middle East, in the Red Sea at the moment.

“In these difficult times, it is the Conservative Party that's going to cut your taxes, that's going to focus on getting good value for money for every pound that government spends. Those are our core beliefs.

“It's been a difficult few years, there's no doubt about that, your viewers completely understand that, but it is this government that is coming forward. We’ve got a plan, we’re sticking to that plan.”

Ashworth also said: “I know people across the country are absolutely furious that the Government has lost control of our borders. It's actually these criminal gangs that control our borders.

“I totally get why people are so angry, particularly when they're paying £1,200 pounds more on average in tax and they're worried about their mortgages, because it's gone through the roof because of the mess of the economy that the Tories have bequeathed us.

“What we've said is we need a really serious plan. They’ve spent £400 million pounds on this [Rwanda scheme] so far, they’ve not even sent one asylum seeker.”

Griffith said: “There is no plan. Why would you, if you’re Leader of the Opposition, not use that time to set out what you're going to do about stopping the boats? What you're going to do to reduce crime, even applaud the government for taking tough decisions on the economy that's meaning people's taxes are being cut.

“But we did learn one thing, and the thing we learned actually was number one in my inbox this morning, which is people are really worried about Royal Mail, and they're worried about potentially losing that lifeline which is the regular delivery.

“And right out of the box, the Prime Minister said that he confirmed that this government is actively committed to maintaining the daily delivery as we've got now.”


Latest Politics videos

Don't Miss

Best of Politics

Latest videos

More videos