‘Rishi Sunak’s government is failing’ — Natalie Elphicke joins the Labour Party

Conservative MP Natalie Elphicke has crossed the floor to join the Labour Party. Read her statement in full below: 

Today I announce that I have decided to join the Labour Party and that I will sit in Parliament as a Labour MP.

When I was elected in 2019, the Conservative Party occupied the centre ground of British politics. The party was about building the future and making the most of the opportunities that lay ahead for our country.

Since then, many things have changed. The elected Prime Minister was ousted in a coup led by the unelected Rishi Sunak. Under Rishi Sunak, the Conservatives have become a byword for incompetence and division. The centre ground has been abandoned and key pledges of the 2019 manifesto have been ditched.

Meanwhile the Labour Party has changed out of all recognition. Since 2019, it has moved on from Jeremy Corbyn and now, under Keir Starmer, occupies the centre ground of British politics. It has accepted Brexit and its economic policies and defence policies are responsible and can be trusted.

Most significantly for me, the modern Labour Party looks to the future – to building a Britain of hope, optimism, opportunity and fairness. A Britain everyone can be part of.

I have carefully considered this decision. The change has been dramatic and cannot be ignored. For me key deciding factors have been housing and the safety and security of our borders.

From small boats to biosecurity, Rishi Sunak’s government is failing to keep our borders safe and secure. Lives are being lost in the English Channel while small boat arrivals are once again at record levels. It’s clear they have failed to keep our borders secure and cannot be trusted.

On housing, Rishi Sunak’s Government is now failing to build the homes we need. Last year saw the largest fall of new housing starts in England in a single year since the credit crunch. The manifesto committed to 300,000 homes next year – but only around half that number are now set to be built. Renters and leaseholders have been betrayed as manifesto pledges to end no fault evictions and abolish ground rents have not been delivered as promised.

The last couple of years have also seen a huge rise in homelessness, in temporary accommodation and rough sleeping – with record numbers of children now in temporary accommodation, without a secure roof over their head.

Meanwhile Labour plan to build the homes we need, help young people onto the housing ladder and care about the vulnerable and homeless. That’s why I’m honoured to have been asked to work with Keir and the team to help deliver the homes we need.

We need to move on from the broken promises of Rishi Sunak’s tired and chaotic Government. Britain needs a Government that will build a future of hope, optimism, opportunity and fairness. A Britain everyone can be part of, that will make the most of the opportunities that lie ahead. That’s why it’s time for change. Time for a Labour Government led by Keir Starmer. The General Election cannot come soon enough.