Carshalton and Wallington MP, Tom Brake, condemned the Conservative Government’s attempt to cut Short Money in an editorial piece. Calling these cuts an “assault on democracy,” he ripped apart the Tory’s plan to slash money that is vital to holding the Government accountable.
Tom Brake fired away at the Conservative’s intention to cut short money by 19% and freeze the allocation for this Parliament. Short Money refers to opposition party funding which allows the opposition to propose any changes to and effectively challenge Government policy. Tom criticised the Conservatives for wanting to cut opposition spending while making no such attempts to cut the £8.5 million spent on Special Advisors for the Government, or the £289 million spent on the government press machine.
Tom said, “The Conservative Government has become more focused on shielding its Ministers from any criticism than running a government on behalf of the people. In the midst of a housing crisis and a divisive EU campaign, the Tories have managed to think only of themselves. By cutting short money, the Government is taking away the representation of the 19 million people who support opposition parties.”
He also attacked the Conservatives’ decision to move forward with Individual Electoral Registration which caused thousands of voters to fall off the register, and their plan to make boundary changes that would benefit the Tories politically and leave those in socially deprived areas under-represented.
Tom added, “We cannot let the Tories create a political monopoly. Thousands of voters who do not support them have already ‘disappeared’ and they are planning to create new boundaries that would eradicate opposition MPs. This political machine must be stopped if we want to continue to live in a state with a fully representative democracy.”