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Monday, 18 March 2013

Sarah Teather and her Record of Dishonesty

I have suggested before that Sarah Teather has a remarkably flexible record when it comes to political principles.  Recently, she dropped out of a meeting with parents seeking to prevent Gladstone school from becoming an academy.  I thought it worth reminding myself of what she was saying when she was still being paid a ministerial salary.  In the process I found a quote from the then minister on benefit cuts:

"I am on record as having concerns about the benefits cap, but I am also pleased to see the changes that were brought in on the back of those concerns, my job is sometimes to take points and suggestions about things that other departments are doing that affect children and families. That's the job that the prime minister asked me to do and I take it seriously."

A little while later, the Prime Minister asked her to give up her job so that he could give it to David Laws to take seriously.  

This seemed to change her views somewhat:

"There are all sorts of things you have to do when times are tight that have negative consequences but you do them for good purposes. But to do something for negative purposes that also has negative consequences – that is immoral," says Teather. She praised Nick Clegg for showing "immense courage" in limiting some of the effects of welfare cuts and urged her party to fight as hard as it possibly could to prevent more. She said many people in her constituency, which is one of the most ethnically diverse and deprived in the country, did not realise what was about to hit them next April."

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