Jeremy Hunt today leads the charge to try to halt the Boris Johnson leadership bandwagon by unveiling a plan to offer tax breaks for granny flats.
The Foreign Secretary, who came second to Mr Johnson in last week’s ballot of Tory MPs, announces an eye-catching policy of offering financial incentives to families who build accommodation for elderly relatives – to help ease the growing social care and childcare burden on the taxpayer.
With Mr Johnson dominating the contest ahead of the next round of voting on Tuesday, Environment Secretary Michael Gove – who came third last week – unveiled a policy to seize dormant bank account assets and use the funds to help communities take over their local football teams.
Jeremy Hunt today leads the charge to try to halt the Boris Johnson leadership bandwagon by unveiling a plan to offer tax breaks for granny flats
Ex-Foreign Secretary Boris Johnson topped the poll of Conservative MPs in the first round of voting for the next Tory leader
In other developments ahead of another febrile week at Westminster:
- Allies of Theresa May said she would join pro-Remain Ministers to stop Mr Johnson from taking the UK out of the EU without a deal, and claimed she had voted for ultra-Remainer Rory Stewart;
- Mr Johnson’s supporters set up a ‘Government in exile’ in the historic Westminster house once used by Michael Portillo for his abortive leadership campaign;
- Tory Party sources said the contest to decide the final two candidates could be concluded as soon as Wednesday;
- First-round leadership casualty Esther McVey declared she was backing Mr Johnson;
- Former Defence Secretary Gavin Williamson was accused of running a ‘bully boy’ operation on behalf of Mr Johnson;
- Sajid Javid branded Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn a risk to national security over Iran.
Environment Secretary Michael Gove – who came third last week – unveiled a policy to seize dormant bank account assets and use the funds to help communities take over their local football teams
Mr Hunt, a former Health Secretary, told The Mail on Sunday that ‘the one bit of unfinished business’ from his six years in the Health Department was the social care crisis.
He said: ‘My grandmother lived until she was 100, I was very close to her and I saw her through her last very uncomfortable days when she started to lose every bodily function except her mind.
‘Part of our Conservative vision must be that every single old person lives out their days with dignity and respect.
‘We’ve got to tackle the problem at its heart and ask ourselves why countries like Italy and Spain spend less on social care than us, yet don’t have a social care crisis when we do.
‘I think the reason is because their families stick together more and so one of the things I want to do is see if we can do more to encourage and support the 420,000 families in this country that live in three-generation households.
Sajid Javid branded Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn a risk to national security over Iran
‘Grandma and Grandpa can look after the kids but it’s also fantastic for the kids, it’s fantastic for the grandparents, so I want to see if we can introduce tax breaks for people who want to build granny flats or make adaptations to make it easier to have an older person living with them and send a strong signal that if you want to stick together as a family, the State will support you.’
Mr Gove’s policy is inspired by the so-called ‘German model’ of fan ownership, which he says would lead to lower ticket prices and help to rebuild communities.
The Government’s Dormant Assets scheme has unlocked £1.2 billion from dormant bank accounts and generated £600 million for good causes, but Mr Gove wants to see this diverted to football fans to help them run their clubs.
He said last night: ‘There have been too many cases where either through incompetence or greed, a priceless local asset has been run into the ground.
‘Bolton is the most recent example but fans across the country – from Coventry to Blackpool – have been betrayed by owners too many times.
‘These clubs don’t just have glorious histories, they serve as a focus for the whole town.’
Yesterday, as Mr Johnson’s rivals scrambled for the second-place position on the membership ballot, the candidates addressed a meeting of the Tory Party’s top grassroots officials at the private Conservative National Convention.
While the majority remain in support of Mr Johnson, a considerable number claimed their second and third preferences had shifted in favour of Mr Javid and Mr Gove at the expense of Mr Hunt.
Mr Hunt, a former Health Secretary, told The Mail on Sunday that ‘the one bit of unfinished business’ from his six years in the Health Department was the social care crisis
Attendees said Home Secretary Mr Javid gave a ‘passionate and better-than-expected’ speech and ‘pressed the right buttons’.
But many poured scorn on Mr Stewart, with one attendee describing him as ‘a bit all over the shop’ and ‘speaking a lot about social media as if he’s just discovered it’.
Former London Mayor Mr Johnson said that only he had the ‘experience of sucking away the oxygen of Ukip and Nigel Farage’.
‘They wouldn’t even stand against me the second time I stood in London,’ he added. ‘We can push them back in their box. We can take away their oxygen and the Lib Dems, of course, who are also feasting on the current European mess.’
Lib Dem leadership contender Ed Davey said last night: ‘The Tory leadership candidates are hell-bent on a No Deal Brexit which would tank our economy. The Liberal Democrats are back in the game and coming for Johnson’s seat.
‘We will not stand by and watch our country descend into chaos.’