Tory MP Andrea Jenkyns claims Labour are 'jumping on bandwagon' for wanting an end to austerity

A Conservative MP has accused Labour councillors of copying Theresa May for calling on the government to end austerity.

Wednesday, 17th October 2018, 6:01 pm
Updated Wednesday, 17th October 2018, 6:13 pm
Ms Jenkyns has been Morley and Outwood MP since 2015

Andrea Jenkyns, MP for Morley and Outwood, claimed that Labour were "jumping on the bandwagon" by putting forward a motion about public service cuts at a Wakefield Council meeting next week.

The local authority has seen more than £170m slashed from its budget since 2010, which has resulted in redundancies and numerous services being cut.

But Ms Jenkyns has suggested that Labour are trying to take public credit by discussing the issue, after the Prime Minister said the "end is in sight" for austerity at the Tory Party Conference two weeks ago.

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Writing on Twitter, she said: "I hear that the local Labour group (on Wakefield) Council are putting forward a motion for the Gov to end austerity.

"The PM already announced she was doing this in her conference speech. Labour are clearly jumping on the bandwagon and will no doubt try to take credit for it."

The motion, which has been forwarded by Ossett councillor Lynn Masterman, will call on elected members to support the 'Breaking Point' campaign, which is calling on the cuts to end.

The petition, which has been signed by other authorities, asks for council funding to be returned to 2010 levels over the next four years.

Labour disputes the Prime Minister's claim that she plans to end austerity, arguing that local services across the UK are set to be cut further by a combined £1.3billion next year.

In response, Coun Masterman said: "The impact of Tory cuts is not just affecting Labour Councils. Only recently, Conservative-run Northamptonshire Council went bust, and many others are now facing bankruptcy.

"Perhaps Andrea Jenkyns ought to listen to her colleague, Lord Gary Porter, the Conservative chair of the Local Government Association (LGA), who has said that, 'councils can no longer be expected to run our vital local services on a shoestring,' rather than mocking our attempts to highlight the need for more adequate funding for local government."