Monday 11 December 2017

6 times Theresa May has been accused of making U-turns

The Conservative leader is in the spotlight.

By Kameron Virk

Theresa May’s announcement of a cap on care bills is the latest in a string of policy changes branded U-turns by opponents.

Here are some of the other times decisions have been reversed.

1. Brexit

While keeping a low profile during the campaign, May backed the Remain side in the 2016 EU referendum, saying the case for continued membership was “strong”.

Within days of the result she offered herself in the leadership campaign as someone who believed that “Brexit means Brexit”.

2. British Bill of Rights

Having argued for withdrawal from the European Convention on Human Rights and the introduction of a British Bill of Rights, May dropped the idea when campaigning for the Tory leadership and said in her 2017 manifesto that the UK will remain an ECHR signatory “for the duration of the next parliament”.

3. Foreign workers


A suggestion from Home Secretary Amber Rudd at the Conservative conference last September that companies would be required to publish details of the number of foreign employees was swiftly dropped after running into opposition from industry.

4. Workers on boards

May told the conference that she would ensure workers were represented on company boards.

Following uneasiness from business at the plan, the manifesto said listed companies would be required “either to nominate a director from the workforce, create a formal employee advisory council or assign specific responsibility for employee representation to a designated non-executive director”.

5. National Insurance

Chancellor Philip Hammond’s Budget announcement of a hike in national insurance contributions for self-employed workers was ditched after days following complaints that it breached a commitment in the Conservative 2015 manifesto not to raise the levy.

6. Early election

Launching her leadership campaign last June, May insisted there should be no general election until 2020.

In September she told interviewer Andrew Marr that there was no need for an early election, as the UK needed a “period of stability” to deal with Brexit.


As late as March 30 her official spokesman was telling reporters: “There isn’t going to be one. It isn’t going to happen. There is not going to be a general election.”

But on April 18, after mulling the question over on a hiking holiday in Snowdonia, the PM announced that she had decided an election was needed “to guarantee certainty and stability for the years ahead”.

Press Association

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