Rishi Sunak is more interested in clinging to office than the national interest, claims Labour

Rishi Sunak is more interested in clinging to office than the national interest, claims Labour
Georgia Pearce

By Georgia Pearce

Published: 17/03/2024

- 11:38

Updated: 17/03/2024

- 11:45

Prime Minister Rishi Sunak is preoccupied with his leadership and failing to act in the national interest by not setting a date for a General Election, according to Labour’s Jonathan Ashworth.

The Shadow Paymaster General told GB News: “Rishi Sunak is not acting in the national interest. It's reckless, irresponsible, he should name the day of a General Election, stabilise matters.

“At the moment, he’s more preoccupied with his own leadership and saving his own skin than governing in the national interest. And I think after 14 years, this is a pretty discredited Government.

“He needs to name the day, but if he doesn't name the date soon, we could have a leadership election soon.”

Asked if Labour would put taxes up, in a discussion during the Camilla Tominey Show, Ashworth said: “We're going through the books and we're going to tell you how we will fund those commitments.

“The Conservatives, in contrast, have made a £46 billion unfunded commitment, a bombshell and they won't even tell you where the money is coming from.

“Well, I'll tell you where the money is coming from. It's probably coming from more tax on pensioners.”

He added: “Tax and spend are matters for our Shadow Chancellor and of course we know that the Conservatives are hoping to have another Budget before a General Election, they’re briefing that, and we will want to look at the books very carefully because we are not irresponsible with the public finances.

“We're not casual with the public finances. We saw what happened with Liz Truss when you adopt a casual approach to the public finances, so I make no apologies for being prudent with the finances and wanting to go for everything, every single item, every penny piece of expenditure, line by line, because people work really hard.”

He added: “We're going to have to make some tough decisions and one of those tough decisions is to levy that VAT on the private schools fees and use the money to fund an expansion of mental health provision, because we do know there's a huge problem.”

On reports it may result in 40,000 children moving to state schools, he said: “I don't agree with that, I don’t. I think that is exaggerated.”


Latest Politics videos

Don't Miss

Best of Politics

Latest videos

More videos