Breaking News: All four members of the board of the government’s Social Mobility Commission have stood down in protest at the lack of progress towards a “fairer Britain”.
- All four board members of the government’s Social Mobility Commission have resigned
- Chair Alan Milburn said Theresa May’s government had betrayed Brexit voters.
- The Ex Labour Minister said there is “little hope” that the “necessary” progress would be made.
- The government are paying no attention to social mobility as Brexit their only priority
- Other board members all walked out too including Tory ex-minister Baroness Shephard
- Theresa May vowed to tackle “burning injustices” when she became PM
The Prime Minister has had another terrible end to another abysmal week.
Having agreed to a £50bn Brexit bill the UK will pay off for decades, the PM was given by the EU until Monday to come forward with an improved offer including the Brexit divorce bill, citizens’ rights, and what to do with the Irish border. – All while Brexit Secretary David Davis yesterday vowed to resign if Damian Green is sacked over extreme porn. And as the Conservative Party falls eight points behind Labour in the latest opinion poll.
And this weekend Theresa May who promised to tackle “burning injustices” that hold back poorer people when she became Prime Minister faced the unprecedented humiliation of the whole of the board of the Social Mobility Commission resigning.
Her social mobility chief Alan Milburn’s resignation letter pulled no punches, explaining that her Government was ensuring that there is no “hope of a fairer Britain.”
The former Labour minister said the PM had failed to deal with growing divisions in the country and was allowing Britain to face a dangerous and volatile situation where extremism could thrive.
The mass resignations come days after the commission warned that unless the growing inequality and divisions in Britain laid bare by the Brexit vote are tackled, the UK faces a dangerous rise in extremism and populism.
Britain is currently on course for the longest fall in living standards since records began more than 60 years ago.
The Institute of Fiscal Studies has warned that the number of children living in poverty is set to soar to 5.2 million in the next five years.
The Office of National Statistics recently compared average wage growth of 2.2 per cent in 2017 to CPIH inflation of 2.6 per cent and found that Britain’s workers endured a 0.4 per cent wage cut this year in real terms.
And shockingly it was recently revealed that pay in real terms won’t be back to 2007 level until 2025.
And with real term poverty comes a shocking poverty of opportunity. At the current rate, it will take 80 years to close the gap in higher education participation rates between rich and poor.
As well as the Commission’s chair, all the other board members walked out in protest at lack of progress in tackling inequality in society.
Embarrassingly for Theresa May that includes Chairman of the Association of Conservative Peers Baroness Shephard, as well as Paul Gregg, professor of economic and social policy at Bath University, and David Johnston, chief executive of the Social Mobility Foundation.
In his resignation letter, Mr Milburn wrote Theresa May’s Government’s total absorption with Brexit meant that it “does not have the necessary bandwidth to ensure the rhetoric of healing social division is matched with the reality.”
He added: “I have little hope of the current Government making the progress I believe is necessary to bring about a fairer Britain.
“It seems unable to commit to the future of the commission as an independent body or to give due priority to the social mobility challenge facing our nation.”
Alan Milburn told the Sunday Times: “There has been indecision, dysfunctionality and a lack of leadership.”
Prime Minister Theresa May promised to “make Britain a country that works not for a privileged few, but for every one of us” when she came to power.
Mr Milburn told the Observer: “The worst position in politics is to set out a proposition that you’re going to heal social divisions and then do nothing about it.”