Boris Johnson's leadership abilities questioned by Belinda De Lucy
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Boris Johnson has been fighting several fires in recent weeks but this is unlikely to end next week as social care becomes another cause of outrage among MPs. Several Conservative Party MPs have threatened rebellion over the Prime Minister’s decision to water down his cap on social care costs. Health Secretary Sajid Javid has insisted the policy will mean “everyone is better off”, but many backbencher MPs have condemned the proposals. A crunch vote will be held in the House of Commons this week and the PM is facing increased pressure to perform a U-turn.
The PM is facing mounting Tory wrath over social care reform after it emerged poorer pensioners face paying more for the cost of care.
On Saturday, senior Conservative Party MPs urged Mr Johnson to throw out plans which would see England’s poorest pensioners forking out huge bills for their social care.
These MPs threatened to revolt if he continued forward with these plans – risking being forced into a humiliating U-turn.
A policy paper recently published revealed means-tested support provided to some pensioners by local authorities would not count towards the £86,000 lifetime cap – meaning some people would be forced to sell their homes to pay for their care.
Mr Johnson is still reeling from the embarrassing U-turn his Government was forced to undertake after the Owen Paterson vote.
In the wake of using the whip to force MPs to help Mr Paterson avoid the proposed 30-day suspension from the House of Commons, Mr Johnson has faced weeks of sleaze accusations.
Opposition and backbencher MPs accused the PM of bias and corruption.
The Tory Party leader has also faced accusations of “betrayal” for changes to the Northern powerhouse rail plans which have now been scaled back.
Several MPs participated in an emergency call set up by Care Minister Gillian Keegan on Friday afternoon, The Observer reported.
During the call, Ms Keegan was said to have been “monstered” by backbenchers complaining the plans were unfair and had not been fully explained or thought through.
Former Tory whip Mark Harper is believed to have challenged the Care Minister to provide more insight into the plans, which neither she nor two civil servants were able to do.
Mr Harper said this was not good enough and it would be unfair for this level of detail to only be provided on the day of the vote – which is expected to be Monday or Tuesday.
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Former Cabinet Minister Robert Buckland has called on the Government to “look again” at the plans.
He also suggested he would vote against the social care proposals.
Speaking to LBC, Mr Buckland said: “We’re in danger of putting the cart before the horse.
“There’s a lot of concern out there about this issue and I know the Government is listening to those concerns.”
Many MPs and Conservatives have said the move would hit the Red Wall constituencies hardest.
These Red Wall states were won over by the Tory camp in the 2019 election.
But the proposed social care policy indicates the PM is struggling to keep the red wall seats happy and at the same time as keeping his traditional base onside.
Brexit was the key element which turned the red wall blue in 2019 – but with traditional heartlands switching to Liberal Democrats and other parties in recent months, the Conservatives cannot afford to alienate the red wall.
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