British PM May's election lead halves after 'dementia tax': surveys

Henrietta Brewer
May 23, 2017

Liberal Democrat leader Tim Farron said: "This is May's Manifesto Meltdown - in a matter of days she has gone from Margaret Thatcher to Corporal Jones".

She had come under mounting pressure over the manifesto's proposal to make people pay their home care costs from the value of their property. And it guaranteed that no-one would see the value of their estate shrink below £100,000 as a result of care costs.

"Not satisfied with plunging our social care system into crisis, Theresa May's nasty party has promised more attacks on older people", he said at a rally.

Speaking at the launch of the Welsh Conservative manifesto, Mrs May refused to be drawn on the specific amount of the upper limit but said it would be part of a wider consultation.

The only things he has left to offer in this campaign are fake claims, fear and scare-mongering. May's opponents dubbed it a "dementia tax", saying it will particularly hit those who need long-term care at home.

But May appeared flustered as she faced questions from journalists about her announcement of a cap.

In her interview with the BBC's Andrew Neil, Mrs May denied this and said the principle the policy was based on "remains absolutely the same". Those policies remain exactly the same.

He said: "The extent of the Labour rise, and Conservative fall, are rather greater in Wales, and are sufficient to put Labour back into a significant lead in Wales".

Mrs May's climbdown came after a clutch of opinion polls showed Labour eating into her party's lead.

Labour's 33 percent is an increase of five percent on last week, but the gain has not been at the expense of the Conservatives.

Meanwhile, the Conservatives are predicted to take 10 seats ( down1); Plaid Cymru three seats (no change) and the Liberal Democrats one seat (no change).

"This is a cold and calculated attempt to pull the wool over people's eyes".

London's Evening Standard newspaper, edited by former finance minister George Osborne, led with the headline "Strong and stable?".

In an apparent sign of Osborne twisting the knife on the woman who sacked him from Government, a Standard editorial described her announcement as "an astonishing U-turn" after a "weekend of wobbles".

Labour MP Angela Eagle tweeted: "If that's "strong and stable leadership in the national interest" then I'm a banana".

The manifesto did not mention an overall cap on costs, instead proposing a £100,000 "floor" beyond which people's assets would be protected.

Britain's Prime Minister Theresa May speaks at an election campaign event in Wrexham, Wales May 22, 2017.

He went on: "All her life is about U-turns".

"Clearly, you cannot trust a word of Theresa May's manifesto".

He added that "Labour are still very much in the game". Did their party discuss it? No. He tweeted: "This isn't just an incompetent non u-turn it's a lie".

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