‘It’s time to focus our fire on the Tories’ (The Mirror)

There has been a lot of media coverage around my reshuffle this week which was about securing a stronger Labour leadership team.

While it was going on we were holding the government to account on floods, Europe and its support for Saudi Arabia.

Holding the government to account is our first priority.

The Conservatives are running down our country. Their neglect of our public services is damaging people’s lives and taking away vital securities and opportunities.

Climate change means the floods we’ve encountered this year and last are more not less likely.

Yet this Government failed to fund flood protection schemes that would have saved people’s homes.

When I met people whose homes had been flooded in York, it wasn’t the loss of fridges or DVD players that bothered them, but the irreplaceable things like family photos, children’s toys, and the foul stench of floodwater in their home.

Faced with a challenge, the Tories stand back and do nothing. It’s sink or swim.

We’ve seen the cuts to adult social care causing a crisis in the NHS, as the support just isn’t there to safely discharge elderly patients – meaning beds aren’t available for those waiting longer and longer at A&Es.

A few months ago this newspaper ran a great campaign to Save our Steel.

While other governments across Europe acted to protect their industry, the Tories let ours close.