UK politics live: Labour urges Tory MPs to reject PM’s ‘care con’ ahead of Commons vote

Good morning. For the second time in less than a week, Boris Johnson is being forced to defend a policy that casts doubt on the credibililty of his levelling up agenda. But there are two reasons why social care is potentially more perilous for him than HS2 and Northern Powerhouse Rail.

First, the injustice is much starker. The main problem, in political terms, with the rail announcement last week is that it did not live up to the inflated promises Johnson had made in advance. With social care, it is now more clear than ever that when Johnson said his policy would stop people having to sell their homes to pay for care costs, the absolute guarantee did not cover poorer people with less valuable homes. This was always a feature of the policy, but was made more explicit than ever by a technical rule change announced last week.

Second, MPs are getting a vote on the social care plan. There will be a division tonight but even if, as expected, the government wins, the government risks losing on this issue in the Lords.

Here is our overnight preview story.

This morning Labour has intensified its opposition to the government’s plan, with Jonathan Ashworth, the shadow health secretary, branding it a “care con”.

Jonathan Ashworth

This isn’t a care plan, it’s a care con.

If you have £million house, 90% of assets protected. But if a £70,000 terrace across the north nearly everything lost.

That’s not ‘levelling up’, it’s day light robbery.

Ask your Tory MP to join us in voting this down at 10pm tonight. https://t.co/9XIaSEgj36

November 22, 2021

He told Sky News:

If you live in a £1m house, perhaps in the home counties, 90% of your assets will be protected if you need social care.

But if you live in an £80,000 terrace house in Hartlepool, Barrow, Mansfield or Wigan, for example, you lose nearly everything.

That is not fair, that is not levelling up, it is daylight robbery.

We’re saying to Tory MPs, join with us tonight in rejecting this proposal and instead ask the minister to retreat to the drawing board and come up with something fairer.

Here is the agenda for the day.

9am: Nadhim Zahawi, the education secretary, takes part in an LBC phone-in.

10am: Boris Johnson speaks at the CBI conference.

10am: Gillian Keegan, the care minister, speaks at the County Council Network’s annual conference. She will be on a panel with Jeremy Hunt, chair of the Commons health committee.

10am: Nicola Sturgeon, Scotland’s first minister, and Douglas Ross, the Scottish Conservative leader, stage a joint visit to a drug support centre in Glasgow.

11.30am: Downing Street holds its lobby briefing.

12.45pm: Anne-Marie Trevelyan, the international trade secretary, gives a speech at the Centre for Policy Studies’ Margaret Thatcher Conference.

1pm: Sir David Amess’s funeral takes place in Southend.

1.30pm: Keir Starmer speaks at the CBI conference. He will tell the business group that Labour will not simply “throw cash at” the country’s problems.

2.30pm: Priti Patel, the home secretary, takes questions in the Commons.

After 3.30pm: MPs begin debating amendments to the social care bill. The debate on the amendment relating to how the new cap on care costs will work will not start until after 7pm, with the vote after 10pm.

4.30pm: Prof Chris Whitty, the government’s chief medical adviser, speaks at the CBI conference.

5pm: Michael Gove, the levelling up secretary, speaks at the County Councils Network conference.

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