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The Conservative leadership contest has already gone to pot 😬

June 11, 2019 4:00 PM
Originally published by UK Liberal Democrats

The Conservatives aren't exactly covering themselves in glory as they decide who'll be the next party leader.

Michael Gove's cocaine admission has garnered a lot of press. As education secretary, Gove forced through legislation that banned teachers from the classroom for life if they were convicted of possessing a class A drug.

He's not the only one. Rory Stewart has admitted to doing opium, and Hancock, Hunt, Leadsom and Raab have admitted to taking some form of cannabis.

We don't think drug use should bar people from positions of responsibility - but hypocrisy should.

And frankly, he's not the only candidate for next Prime Minister to have come out with concerning revelations.

It's particularly astonishing for a former health secretary to have a policy on restricting abortions.

As one of the UK's longest serving health secretaries, Jeremy Hunt presumably knows some of the reasons why some women have an abortion in their second trimester:

- they didn't know their contraception failed for a few months, but they are not in a position to have a baby
- they learnt of health complications at the twenty-week scan
- they are taking time to make the right decision for themselves and decide whether they can provide a good life for a child in their current circumstances.

While women across the UK are campaigning to make abortion legal in Northern Ireland, and women around the world look on in horror as abortion rights are rolled back in the US, it is unacceptable that Hunt is suggesting rolling back women's rights in the UK - when of all the Tory leadership candidates he's best placed to know the harm his policy would cause.

Boris Johnson wants to cut taxes for everyone earning over £50,000 - and pay for it by raising National Insurance for the rest of us.

This amounts to a £9.6 billion tax cut for the 3 million highest earners in the UK - which coincidentally, will include many of the people whose vote he is hoping to win.

BoJo's policy means the Treasury has far less money in the bank to pay for new homes, the NHS, schools, police, and front-line services. His pitch for being the Prime Minister of the UK is to increase the shocking inequality rife in British society.

And Dominic Raab won't make it easier for trans people to change their gender.

Despite saying he's an ally of LGBT people, Stonewall has called the Gender Recognition Act dehumanising, and following a national consultation, the next Prime Minister will oversee changing the legislation that governs the rights of trans people in the UK.

And Raab's comments suggest that he will pander to transphobes - especially those posing as feminists.

No prizes for guessing why he's courting that vote.

Britain's next prime minister should not be determined by a group of Conservative Party members. Many of them voted for Nigel Farage's Brexit Party in the European Election. Whether it's a unicorn plan on Brexit or attacks on our rights and essential freedoms, the only consistent line from the Tories has been that they will harm our country, not help it.

Compare and contrast to the policies of the Liberal Democrats.

🔶 We'll bring in drug law reform and treat addiction as a medical, not a criminal, issue

🔶 We'll protect women's rights to their own bodies

🔶 We'll spend money helping the poorest, not the richest in society - reversing billions of pounds of Conservative cuts to welfare

🔶 We'll continue to fight for and strengthen the rights of trans people

🔶 We'll stop Brexit.

Only the Liberal Democrats are opposing the Conservatives on these harmful issues. And you can help us win.

We're building a huge liberal movement up and down the UK. Over 17,000 people have joined us in the last month alone. We're surging in the polls - Liberal Democrats are winning again. Join us today: