Politics

Boris Johnson Hints Social Care Plans Will Not Be In Queen’s Speech

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Boris Johnson has not said whether key social care proposals, as promised when he was elected, will be detailed in next week’s Queen’s Speech.

The prime minister would only say on Wednesday that plans for the long-term reform of the sector and its funding will be brought forward in the “next few months”.

Johnson promised to “fix the crisis in social care once and for all” when he became PM in July 2019.

Lib Dem leader Ed Davey demanded Johnson lead cross-party talks to resolve the issue.

“I’ve written yet again to Boris Johnson to say the Liberal Democrats are happy to get around the table with other political parties because it’s so important,” he said.

In an interview with broadcasters during a campaign visit to Stourbridge in the West Midlands, Johnson said social care was “a massive priority”.

But asked if plans would be in the Queen’s Speech, he said: “I think the pandemic has helped to expose, well, it’s shown, the amazing work that social care workers do and all the help they give to our society.

“They have been absolutely fantastic. They’ve borne the brunt of the pandemic, so we invest hugely in social care as a government.

“We support local councils, who have to bear much of the cost of social care, massively.

“We put billions more into helping local government but we also have to think about the long-term issues, the long-term costs and how we should be funding it.

“We’re determined to bring forward new proposals – there will be something about it in the course of the next few months.”

Johnson and opposition leaders are in the final hunt for votes after taking to the campaign trail on the eve of the “super Thursday” polls opening.

The PM said it would be “very tough” for the Conservative Party during the local elections and looked to play down his party’s chances of taking the Westminster constituency of Hartlepool in the by-election – despite recent polling putting the Tories 17 points in front of incumbents Labour.

Labour leader Keir Starmer, asked about polling suggesting his party was in danger of losing Hartlepool and seeing control wrestled away from the party in a number of councils across its so-called “red wall” traditional heartlands in the Midlands and North of England, admitted his rebuild would take longer than 12 months.

Voters will have their say on the make-up of English councils, the Scottish Parliament and the Welsh Senedd, and decide who holds power in city halls, with a number of areas choosing regional mayors.




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