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People should not have to choose between heating and eating this Christmas.

The past year has seen weak Rishi Sunak pushed around by a chaotic and divided Conservative Party which has presided over the biggest hit to household finances in living memory.

I was elected as the MP for Wakefield only 18 months ago. In that time, we have had 3 Prime Ministers, 3 Chancellors, 3 Foreign Secretaries, 5 Home Secretaries and 4 Health Secretaries, alongside innumerable chopping and changing at the top of government.

The result of all of this and the culmination of 13 years of mismanagement by the Tories, is a tax burden at the highest rate since the second world war, household incomes 3.5% lower than pre-pandemic levels and price rises at an all-time high. Since October 2021, food prices have risen by 30%, gas prices by 60% and electricity prices by 40%.

Behind every one of these statistics is a real family, who are struggling as a result.

This Christmas, 6.5 million people will struggle to heat their homes sufficiently. 2.7 million will have to choose between buying food or presents for loved ones. And to make matters worse, typical households will face a 5% rise in their energy bills when prices rise again in January.

It is a sad indictment of the Tories’ record in government that 31% of children in Wakefield live in poverty.

We simply cannot afford another five years of Conservative government.

The impact of the Tories’ policies are laid bare by the number of people having to access foodbanks across the country. Between April and September this year, the Trussell Trust distributed nearly 1.5 million emergency food parcels, the most they have ever distributed at this point in the year and a 16% increase compared to last year. They have also provided over half a million parcels for children in that period, again an unprecedented number.

Charities like our local food banks are the best of society. They step up when people are struggling and give households the support they desperately need. It is therefore heart-breaking to see that they are also struggling with rising costs and overheads which threatens their ability to continue to provide their vital services.

Only Labour can be trusted to get the British economy going again and reduce the financial burden on families. Labour will provide a decade of national renewal to replace 13 years of national decline and get Britain's future back.

Under Keir Starmer’s leadership, the Labour Party has changed. Labour is now the party of fiscal responsibility, we are the party of business, and we are the only party with a plan to make working people better off.

The Tories are not on the side of working people. Rishi Sunak is out of touch and too weak to take on the extremists in his party and get on with governing. The Conservatives have presided over 13 years of national decline which has left households with higher bills, higher taxes, higher mortgages and higher rents.

Wakefield can no longer afford a Conservative government. We need a general election now. Change is the question at the next election and the answer is Labour.



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