In My View: Neil Coyle, MP for Bermondsey and Old Southwark

Instead of focusing on national priorities and national interests, the Tory Government has spent even more time in political turmoil with a King’s Speech devoid of plans to improve our country and alleviate the cost-of-living crisis, and a reshuffle to dispose of Cruella Braverman and dig David Cameron back out of the political dustbin.

Every week I hear from people in Southwark fed up with Sunak putting Tory Party divisions and political dysfunction before the interests and needs of South London or the rest of the country.

Cameron’s return is especially disappointing to South London.

His coalition with Clegg and the Lib Dems began our national stagnation and decline, with cuts to help for disabled people, the infamous ‘Bedroom Tax’, an NHS reorganisation that has contributed to the longest waiting times in history, and student fees hikes and Universal Credit changes that have piled on debt and despair.

The Lib Dem-Tory alliance also oversaw the axing of more than 20,000 police officers and staff, including more than 400 police officers and PCSOs cut from Southwark alone.

We are still paying the price: 9/10 criminals now get away with it and the Tories have taken fraud out of crime statistics because ministers prefer to downplay or ignore problems rather than develop or deliver solutions.

Antisocial behaviour is rocketing as a cause of concern for constituents in Southwark, but the Tories spend their whole time infighting or seeking ever-more desperate headlines, rather than workable policies that help tackle the issues prevalent in South London or beyond.

This was exposed last week in the collapse of the Government’s flagship Rwanda policy.

The Tories have spent years and hundreds of millions of pounds of taxpayers’ money shipping journalists to Rwanda to pretend the place is safe and wonderful (if anyone questions why, send people to that country) or a hellhole (if claiming it acts as a deterrent).

The contradictory chaos saw the Supreme Court rule the whole policy a fantastical, unlawful sham – designed for headlines and hoodwinking naïve voters rather than resolving the risky channel crossings.

I am on the Foreign Affairs Committee, and we were told recently that Afghans are the most numerous on that route.

Being hunted by the Taliban means some take the dangerous crossing because even those who worked for the UK are denied legal entry and shamefully abandoned by the Home Office.

The millions of pounds breaking the law in pursuit of right-wing headbanger headlines is scandalous.

Food inflation is astronomical, and the Government should use the resources wisely to tackle the problem.

More people would be struggling without philanthropy and initiatives like the new ‘Community Fridge’ at St George’s Cathedral in partnership with Oasis, which I helped launch this month.

I’m glad that in South London, and Southwark especially, we have an army of volunteers stepping up in the absence of a responsible Government focusing on the issues that matter to Brits.

Sadly, Sunak seems locked in a death-spiral of despair as he limps on and fails to deliver the leadership our country needs

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