“Yesterday I again made the difficult decision of voting against the Government on its plans to raise National Insurance to help fund health and social care. I fully agree that we need to increase funding for the NHS and Social Care and need to take the tough decisions as to how to do this. But I firmly believe that if you make a manifesto promise such as not raising National Insurance then you need to keep that promise. Voting against my Party is never easy but if we don’t stick by our commitments to the electorate, then it undermines the legitimacy of future pledges and people lose their faith in politics.
I am pleased that the Prime Minister sees solving the social care crisis as a priority, particularly after the unprecedented pressures of the pandemic. However, I think there was an opportunity to attempt to reach a lasting cross-party consensus on an issue that has been hanging over governments of all colours for decades. Indeed, this was also something we said we would do in our manifesto. I have now voted several times against the Government, beit on upholding animal welfare standards in trade deals, maintaining our commitment to overseas aid spending or last night on not raising National Insurance. If you make a promise, you should keep it. I have made my position clear to colleagues and will continue to follow developments in this area closely.”