David Cameron has lambasted Jeremy Corbyn as a “security threatening, terrorist-sympathising, Britain-hating” ideologue in his most vocal attack yet on the newly appointed Labour leader, which was designed to show that he is wholly unsuitable to lead Britain. This is a far cry from Cameron welcoming Corbyn to the first of PMQ’s exchanges in parliament just one month ago where he urged working together in the national interest. “If we can change PMQs, nobody would be more delighted than me.” The session then descended as usual.
Cameron’s speech to the Conservative conference in Manchester on Wednesday was designed to show his determination to occupy the centre ground in the wake of Corbyn’s emphatic victory in the Labour leadership contest by setting out an optimistic framework. He pledged to launch an all-out assault on the “scourge of poverty” and to turn the Tories into the party of the “equal shot” by eradicating all forms of discrimination.
A strange statement from a man who has presided over the fastest growth in poverty in Britain in decades. And it is not as though Cameron was not aware of this fact. From the charity Poverty and Social Exclusion (PSE) — Current government policy will result in a rise in poverty in the UK, according to forecasts by the Institute for Fiscal Studies (IFS) in Child and Working-Age Poverty from 2010 to 2020. Child poverty will rise to 24 per cent by 2020/21, considerably higher than the 10 per cent target in the Child Poverty Act enshrined into law in 2010 and then scrapped just three months ago.
The prime minister said to treat Corbyn with kid gloves by saying he could not be trusted with Britain’s security. Cameron illustrated this point by highlighting the reported remarks by the Labour leader that the death of Osama bin Laden had been a tragedy.