Leading Suffolk Tory attacks PM for 'Breaking manifesto pledge'

Councillor Chris Chambers

Suffolk Conservative councillor Chris Chambers said Boris Johnson was "Tory in name only." - Credit: AMY GIBBONS

A leading Suffolk Conservative has said the Prime Minister is a "Tory in name only" after the announcement of tax rises to pay for improvements to the NHS and care system.

County Councillor Chris Chambers represents the area to the west of Ipswich including Bramford, Claydon and Great Blakenham and is a deputy cabinet member with responsibility for children with Special Educational Needs and Disabilities.

He posted a Tweet outlining his opposition to the plans in the hours after PM Boris Johnson, Chancellor Rishi Sunak and Health and Social Care Secretary Sajid Javid outlined them at a Downing Street briefing.

Chambers Tweet

Chris Chambers attacked the Prime Minister in a Tweet. - Credit: Twitter

Mr Chambers said he had put up the Tweet because of his frustration at the Prime Minister's decision to break his manifesto pledge not to put up tax rates.

He said: "I don't like tax rates going up, but I understand there are real problems with the NHS and care system. But it was the decision to break the manifesto pledge that made me do this.

"I know that no one foresaw the pandemic - but this was an election pledge."

Central Suffolk and North Ipswich Conservative MP Dr Dan Poulter represents Mr Chambers' division in the House of Commons and as well as being a working NHS doctor is also a former health minister.

He backed the decision to put up taxes to improve resources for the NHS and care sector - and hoped his colleagues would agree that the exceptional circumstances of the pandemic made the decision necessary

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He said: "I think it is universally recognised that the health and care systems have been under huge strain since the pandemic - and care was under strain long before then.

"I hope my colleagues will realise that this is a serious attempt to deal with that crisis and recognise that in the years ahead it will be the fact that action was taken to address the crisis - and not the method of taxation that was used that was the key issue."

Dr Poulter said the pandemic and its impact on the NHS could never have been foreseen at the time spending pledges were made during the last general election campaign - and most reasonable people would appreciate that.