Prime Minister Theresa May was accused of performing a
“U-turn” over care costs following the Welsh Conservative manifesto launch in Wrexham.
The Prime Minister visited a packed Gresford Memorial Hall for yesterday’s launch, where she was welcomed by Conservative politicians and candidates.
She began by telling attendees that Brexit negotiations would soon follow the election and that the UK’s future depended on “getting the next five years right”.
During her visit she spoke out against Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn, accusing him of having “no strong plan for Britain”.
She said: “It is good to be in Wrexham with just 17 days to go until this crucial General Election.
“Just 11 days after that, the European Union wants Brexit negotiations to begin. The UK's seat at the negotiating table will be filled by me or Jeremy Corbyn.
“There will be no time to waste and no time for a new government to find its way, so the stakes in this election are high.
“It is your decision. Every vote for me and my team in this election will strengthen my hand in the negations to come.
“Every vote for any other party is a vote to send Jeremy Corbyn to the negotiating chamber on our behalf.”
She went on to explain the manifesto’s five key areas, which she said represented the main challenges the UK faces – the need for a strong economy, responding to Brexit and the changing world, tackling enduring social divisions, responding to an ageing society and facing up to fast changing technology.
Mrs May also explained the manifesto contains proposals for a consultation paper which includes an absolute limit on the amount people have to pay for their care costs, as well as measures to “make sure nobody has to sell their family home to pay for care”.
Members of the media criticised Mrs May for what they called a “significant change” and a “U-turn” over the care costs cap compared with the contents of the Conservative manifesto launched just days previously.
BBC political editor Laura Kuenssberg asked: “You have just announced a significant change to what was offered in your manifesto, saying there will now be the possibility of a cap on social care that was not in the plan announced just four days ago. That doesn’t look very stable Prime Minister, does it?
“It looks more like panic in the face of opposition.”
Following the questions, Mrs May added: “We have not changed the principles we have set out in the manifesto. What we have done is clarified that in the green paper we will have an absolute limit on the amount that people will pay for care, but the principles remain the same as when they were put in the manifesto last week.
She added: “A loss of just six seats will cost my government its majority and create a hung parliament. Just six fewer MPs means a parliament in which the minor parties will flock to prop up Jeremy Corbyn.
“He has no strong plan for Britain, he wants to sneak over the line by manipulating the fears of older and vulnerable people.
“That is a shameful abdication of responsibility. My manifesto is honest and up front about our challenges.”
Speaking to the Leader, Mrs May praised Wrexham’s Tory candidate Andrew Atkinson – who hopes to win the seat from Labour’s Ian Lucas.
She said: “I think he would make a first class constituency Member of Parliament. He is someone who understands the importance of getting around the constituency and listening to people’s concerns and putting them forward.”
When asked how she felt about her party’s chances in North Wales and neighbouring Chester, Mrs May declined to speculate.
She said: “I’m often asked about how I think the party is going to do in an election, but I never predict election results.”
l See comment – page 13.