View all newsletters
Sign up to our newsletters

Support 110 years of independent journalism.

  1. Politics
8 March 2017updated 01 Aug 2021 7:20am

PMQs review: Theresa May hides behind Budget from Jeremy Corbyn’s social care attacks

“Be a little patient and wait half an hour for the Budget.”

By Anoosh Chakelian

The Labour leader has shown significantly more gusto at PMQs lately, what with the story his team leaked last month of texts suggesting Surrey County Council had been given preferential treatment by the government in funding social care.

Uncomfortably for the government, it was revealed yesterday that the council leader David Hodge told Tory colleagues that a “gentleman’s agreement” had been reached with ministers, which persuaded him to row back on his threat to hike council tax by 15 per cent via a referendum. (Both the Department for Communities and Local Government and Surrey Council deny that there was a sweetheart deal.)

After successfully ambushing Theresa May with the story in early February, Jeremy Corbyn returned to the subject – accusing the government of making a special arrangement with the Tory-held council to help ease the pain of stretched social care funding.

“Could the Prime Minister explain the difference between a sweetheart deal and a gentleman’s agreement?” he asked.

May was ready this time: “Has there been a deal with Surrey County Council that is not available to other councils? The answer to that is no.”

Select and enter your email address Your weekly guide to the best writing on ideas, politics, books and culture every Saturday. The best way to sign up for The Saturday Read is via saturdayread.substack.com The New Statesman's quick and essential guide to the news and politics of the day. The best way to sign up for Morning Call is via morningcall.substack.com Our Thursday ideas newsletter, delving into philosophy, criticism, and intellectual history. The best way to sign up for The Salvo is via thesalvo.substack.com Stay up to date with NS events, subscription offers & updates. Weekly analysis of the shift to a new economy from the New Statesman's Spotlight on Policy team. The best way to sign up for The Green Transition is via spotlightonpolicy.substack.com
  • Administration / Office
  • Arts and Culture
  • Board Member
  • Business / Corporate Services
  • Client / Customer Services
  • Communications
  • Construction, Works, Engineering
  • Education, Curriculum and Teaching
  • Environment, Conservation and NRM
  • Facility / Grounds Management and Maintenance
  • Finance Management
  • Health - Medical and Nursing Management
  • HR, Training and Organisational Development
  • Information and Communications Technology
  • Information Services, Statistics, Records, Archives
  • Infrastructure Management - Transport, Utilities
  • Legal Officers and Practitioners
  • Librarians and Library Management
  • Management
  • Marketing
  • OH&S, Risk Management
  • Operations Management
  • Planning, Policy, Strategy
  • Printing, Design, Publishing, Web
  • Projects, Programs and Advisors
  • Property, Assets and Fleet Management
  • Public Relations and Media
  • Purchasing and Procurement
  • Quality Management
  • Science and Technical Research and Development
  • Security and Law Enforcement
  • Service Delivery
  • Sport and Recreation
  • Travel, Accommodation, Tourism
  • Wellbeing, Community / Social Services
Visit our privacy Policy for more information about our services, how New Statesman Media Group may use, process and share your personal data, including information on your rights in respect of your personal data and how you can unsubscribe from future marketing communications.
THANK YOU

The Prime Minister insisted that Surrey’s decision was one “available to every council”.

Corbyn persisted with his questioning, playing on a point that is only going to get more painful for the government: “There is an acute social care crisis that affects every council. Can our Prime Minister tell every other council in England what gentleman’s agreement is available to them?”

The accusation of giving a Conservative council a leg-up, and the sticky subject of local government cuts hitting social care hard, are both sore subjects for May. So much so that she was forced to hide behind the upcoming Budget to halt Corbyn’s questioning:

“Be a little patient and wait half an hour for the Budget – he’ll find out what social care funding is available to all councils.”

Whether he’ll hear what really happened behind the scenes between Surrey County Council and DCLG is another question.

Content from our partners
Unlocking the potential of a national asset, St Pancras International
Time for Labour to turn the tide on children’s health
How can we deliver better rail journeys for customers?

Select and enter your email address Your weekly guide to the best writing on ideas, politics, books and culture every Saturday. The best way to sign up for The Saturday Read is via saturdayread.substack.com The New Statesman's quick and essential guide to the news and politics of the day. The best way to sign up for Morning Call is via morningcall.substack.com Our Thursday ideas newsletter, delving into philosophy, criticism, and intellectual history. The best way to sign up for The Salvo is via thesalvo.substack.com Stay up to date with NS events, subscription offers & updates. Weekly analysis of the shift to a new economy from the New Statesman's Spotlight on Policy team. The best way to sign up for The Green Transition is via spotlightonpolicy.substack.com
  • Administration / Office
  • Arts and Culture
  • Board Member
  • Business / Corporate Services
  • Client / Customer Services
  • Communications
  • Construction, Works, Engineering
  • Education, Curriculum and Teaching
  • Environment, Conservation and NRM
  • Facility / Grounds Management and Maintenance
  • Finance Management
  • Health - Medical and Nursing Management
  • HR, Training and Organisational Development
  • Information and Communications Technology
  • Information Services, Statistics, Records, Archives
  • Infrastructure Management - Transport, Utilities
  • Legal Officers and Practitioners
  • Librarians and Library Management
  • Management
  • Marketing
  • OH&S, Risk Management
  • Operations Management
  • Planning, Policy, Strategy
  • Printing, Design, Publishing, Web
  • Projects, Programs and Advisors
  • Property, Assets and Fleet Management
  • Public Relations and Media
  • Purchasing and Procurement
  • Quality Management
  • Science and Technical Research and Development
  • Security and Law Enforcement
  • Service Delivery
  • Sport and Recreation
  • Travel, Accommodation, Tourism
  • Wellbeing, Community / Social Services
Visit our privacy Policy for more information about our services, how New Statesman Media Group may use, process and share your personal data, including information on your rights in respect of your personal data and how you can unsubscribe from future marketing communications.
THANK YOU