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BASW in Westminster update: 14 June 2022

Kerri Prince, BASW UK Public and Political Affairs Lead, provides an update from Westminster

Last week, Boris Johnson faced a vote of no confidence from Conservative MPs, as 54 of them had signed a letter calling for the vote. Under the rules of the Conservative Parliamentary Party, a ballot must be arranged to allow Conservative MPs to have their say on whether they have confidence in their leader.

Boris Johnson survived this vote – but in no way was it a joyous victory. More than a third of his own MPs want him out of the job. 

Theresa May also had a vote of no confidence against her when she was Prime Minister, and she won a greater percentage of support from her MPs – yet she was still gone as Prime Minister 6 months later. Winning a no confidence vote is no guarantee that you’ll be around for the long haul….

So why should social workers care?

Boris Johnson’s unpopularity amongst his own MPs could signal that the end is near for the Prime Minister, and he will soon be replaced.

And with a new Prime Minister comes new policies. Would the culture wars of ‘university free speech’ or the ‘bill of rights’, or deportation of asylum seekers to Rwanda be a priority of a new Prime Minister? Or would they focus on funding the NHS and social care? Would they truly tackle the cost of living? Or the housing crisis? We can only live in hope that the serious challenges facing people in this country would be addressed with a change of Prime Minister.

Cost of living crisis

In the world of policy rather than politics, the cost of living crisis continues to dominate. We reported that the Chancellor had made an emergency budget which gives those on the lowest incomes some money to help with the pressure, with every household who pays their energy bills themselves eligible for £400 off their energy bills.

Deportation of asylum-seekers to Rwanda

A couple of months ago, the Home Office announced its plans to deport asylum-seekers to Rwanda for processing. This resulted in a number of legal challenges. A few of the challenges relating to individuals have been successful, but the appeal to prevent the flight from leaving for Rwanda has fallen.

Update - 15 June - The flight was cancelled after intervention from the European Court of Human Rights (ECHR).

Upcoming legislation

There are several pieces of legislation expected in the UK Parliament this year, most notably Mental Health Act reform and the Human Rights Act reform/Bill of Rights.

We did a report on all the upcoming legislation, and what this could mean.