In the 2015 General Election there were just 428 votes between the Conservatives and Labour in Halifax. Speaking in the West Yorkshire constituency today, to launch the Conservative manifesto, was not random, it was a message that places like Halifax could turn blue.
Theresa May, speaking from a former carpet making mill, said her government would be a "mainstream government that would deliver for mainstream Britain." There was also, as you may have expected, lots of comments about the need for strong, stable leadership in the national interest.
During questions the PM was asked about whether page 9 which says they reject the cult of selfish individualism, abhor social division, injustice, unfairness and inequality was'May-ism' to which she responded "there is not such thing as May-ism, just good conservative values."
The Prime Minister's Forward
"The next five years are the most challenging that Britain has faced in my lifetime. Brexit will define us: our place in the world, our economic security and our future prosperity. So now more than ever, Britain needs a strong and stable government to get the best Brexit deal for our country and its people. Now more than ever, Britain needs strong and stable leadership to make the most of the opportunities Brexit brings for hardworking families. Now more than ever, Britain needs a clear plan. This manifesto, Forward, Together: Our Plan for a Stronger Britain and a Prosperous Future will meet the great challenges of our time, beyond Brexit. With this plan and with a strong hand through Brexit, we will build a stronger, fairer, more prosperous Britain, for all of us."
The Five Giant Challenges
- The need for a strong economy
- Brexit and a changing world
- Enduring social divisions
- An ageing society
- Fast-changing technology
- £8bn extra for the NHS
- Scrap the triple-lock on the state pension, which guarantees it rises by the highest of average earnings, inflation or 2.5%
- Means test winter fuel payments, taking away £300 from wealthier pensioners
- Raising cost of care threshold from £23,000 to £100,000 - but include value of home in calculation of assets for home care as well as residential care
- Scrap free school lunches for infants in England, but offer free breakfasts across the primary years
- Pump an extra £4bn a year into schools by 2022
- Net migration cut to below 100,000
- Increase the amount levied on firms employing non-EU migrant workers
- Increase the personal allowance to £12,500 and the higher rate to £50,000 by 2020
- At least 100 new free schools a year
- Require foreign workers and overseas students to pay more to cover the cost of NHS care.
- Exit the European single market and customs union but seek a "deep and special partnership" including comprehensive free trade and customs agreement
- Vote in both Houses of Parliament on "final agreement" for Brexit
- £1bn to modernise the prison estate
- UK should have the lowest energy costs in Europe, both for households and businesses
- Continue investment in High Speed 2, Northern Powerhouse Rail and the expansion of Heathrow Airport, while ensuring these projects develop the skills and careers of British workers
- Spend at least 2% of GDP on defence and increase the budget by at least 0.5% above inflation in every year of the new parliament
View the full Conservative Party Manifesto (External Link)