Labour pledges to put creative industries at heart of UK Brexit negotiations

Prime Minister Theresa May has pulled an extraordinary U-turn by backing down from her "dementia tax" policy just four days after making it the center of her election manifesto.

But in a major set-piece interview with the BBC's Andrew Neil she was challenged over the announcement that a cap on social care costs would now be included in her plans, having previously been ruled out.

In her speech this morning, Ms May accused Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn of "fake claims, fear and scare mongering" over the Tory proposals.

That raised concerns that some might see their houses sold off after their deaths to pay for the care they received rather than passed on to their descendants.

"Unlike the Tories, we will make sure the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport is represented on the Brexit cabinet committee - so that our creative industries have a voice in government on the crucial decisions that will affect the Brexit negotiations", it says.

ICM cited analysis group Electoral Calculus as saying the predicted share of the vote would lead to the Conservatives holding a 134 seat majority in the 650-seat parliament.

Theresa May said the General Election is a "question of trust" as she sought to defend her dramatic U-turn on social care policy amid signs that controversy over a so-called "dementia tax" was hurting Conservatives in the polls.

Unsurprisingly, given the "strong and stable" slogan adopted by the Tory leader, her opponents have seized on the uncertainty created by the policy.

"We all know that the long-term solution to the social care crisis is better integration of the NHS and social care. this is the first step along that road".

That picture appeared to change after both the Conservatives and Labour set out their election pitches to voters last week, with a Survation poll published on Monday showing May's lead over Labour had halved to 9 percentage points.

Although both May and Corbyn campaigned past year to remain in the European Union, polls show that May is more trusted to secure a good deal in talks with Brussels and that some voters are confused about Labour's position on the issue.

"It's the Labour Party who's in the dock when it comes to responsibility".

The landslide predicted by the earlier 20-point lead has shifted to put the Conservatives on 44 per cent and Labour up to 35 per cent, according to a YouGov poll for the Sunday Times newspaper.

Professor Roger Scully, from the University of Cardiff, said the results were broadly in line with nationwide polls - in which the gap between Labour and the Tories has been narrowing. As they say, a week is a long time in politics and the tide could easily turn again, more than once, in the remaining time before polling day.

  • Leroy Wright