Queen’s speech: what the Tories’ overhauled priorities may look like

Party’s manifesto plans will change in wake of election, with possible shifts in stance on Brexit, grammar schools and social care

The first Queen’s speech of the new parliament will be nothing like as ambitious as Theresa May had hoped, given the Conservative party’s lack of an overall majority and the need to rely on the Democratic Unionist party of Northern Ireland to pass legislation. Only a handful of key policies are likely to survive:

Related: Tom Watson asks May: did Murdoch request Gove’s return to cabinet?

Related: Q&A: how will the UK election result affect Brexit talks?

Related: Can party politics be set aside to save social care? | Paul Burstow

Continue reading…

Fund social care through tax – anything else punishes those who need it | Jane Young

The Tories betray wilful ignorance in refusing to acknowledge that some adults need support all their lives – asking them to pay care costs is wrong

Much has been said about the Conservative manifesto pledges on social care and Theresa May’s subsequent U-turn, but one issue that has so far escaped scrutiny is the Tories’ strange assumption that social care is all about older people. This is despite the fact that around a third of those who need social care services are of working age [pdf].

Social care affects all adults who need support because of a disability or long-term health condition. This might include a learning disability, a physical disability or severe and enduring mental ill-health. The failure of the Conservative manifesto to acknowledge any of this gives the impression of a party that is wilfully ignorant of the nature of adult social care and its beneficiaries.

Related: The ‘dementia tax’ mess shows how little May thinks of disabled people | Frances Ryan

Related: Forget money – we need to rethink what social care should look like

Continue reading…

General election: May falters during challenge over record on public services

PM confronted by nurse over issue of low pay in Question Time special, while Jeremy Corbyn is questioned over Trident and national security

Theresa May came under sustained pressure over the Conservative party’s record on public sector pay, mental health services and social care in a combative election edition of BBC1’s Question Time broadcast less than a week before polling day.

The prime minister faced a string of awkward questions from members of the public, including a challenge from a nurse, Victoria Davey, who left May faltering after confronting her over the 1% pay increase received by NHS staff.

Related: Question Time leaders’ special: May under fire over NHS and education – live

Related: The Guardian view on the election: it’s Labour

Related: Question Time leaders’ special: panel verdict

Continue reading…

‘Nothing has changed!’: May as she announces social care U-turn – video

The prime minister claims nothing has changed after giving a speech that rowed back on the Conservative manifesto plan for social care, introducing the idea of a cap on costs

Continue reading…

People with learning difficulties are not ill – but Theresa May’s gaffe is typical | Ian Birrell

How can we improve the lives of learning disabled people when even the prime minister muddles them up with those with mental health problems?

My daughter has learning difficulties. She was born with them 24 years ago and they will always be part of her life. Since they are at the most profound end of the spectrum and complicated by epilepsy she is unable to walk, talk or see. She needs full-time care and state support. But most importantly she is an adorable human being and a lively individual.

Since her birth I have endured mild bouts of depression along with deriving much joy, like many parents who finds their lives suddenly disrupted by birth of a child with disabilities. The temporary slumps have not been too destabilising. Other people suffer far more severe mental health problems. Thankfully, society is starting to show more appreciation of their conditions with growing support from all political parties.

Related: Looking for work with a learning disability: ‘You feel like a failure’

Continue reading…

It’s good to talk about mental health. But is it enough? | Eva Wiseman

With Princes William and Harry speaking up about the death of their mother, mental health awareness has had a much needed boost. But it’s what happens next that really counts

My toddler has recently learned to talk, and she speaks as if she’s recording her podcast, an unedited till roll of thoughts with a small pause for congratulations at the end. Occasionally she will prod me for praise. “That was a lovely story I just told wasn’t it?” Yes baby. “I piggy pardon?” Yes, that was a lovely story.

It very often is a lovely story, but a time will have to come, maybe when she turns three, when she will learn that talking is not enough. Talking is rarely the end – talking is the vehicle, the bus, the bike. The meandering journey to another place.

May has pledged to tackle the ‘stigma’ of mental health. But the crisis has been fuelled by her party’s cuts

Continue reading…

Theresa May wants to scrap the Mental Health Act. Here’s what should replace it | Mark Brown

If she is serious about reforming mental health care, she should redress the balance between reducing the risk to the public and maximising healing and care

Theresa May is keen that we know she cares about mental health. She told us so in her first speech as prime minister. She announced alterations to the Equalities Act to reduce workplace discrimination, roll out mental health workers in schools and recruit 10,000 more staff by 2020.

Related: Theresa May pledges mental health revolution will reduce detentions

Related: We are experiencing a work revolution – and it’s making us mentally ill | Louise Chunn

Continue reading…

Theresa May pledges mental health revolution will reduce detentions

Prime minister says new legislation is needed to end discrimination resulting from current Mental Health Act

Theresa May will pledge to scrap the “flawed” Mental Health Act, warning that it has allowed the unnecessary detention of thousands of people and failed to deal with discrimination against ethnic minority patients.

In an attempt to meet her pledge to prioritise mental illness during her premiership, she will commit to ripping up the 30-year-old legislation and replace it with new laws designed to halt a steep rise in the number of people being detained. Increased thresholds for detention would be drawn up in a new mental health treatment bill to be unveiled soon after a Conservative victory. Mental health charities, clinicians and patients would be consulted on the new legislation.

Continue reading…

Poppy Jaman: ‘I think there’s a wave of change coming in mental health’

The chief executive of Mental Health First Aid England says going into every secondary school is just the beginning of a new approach to mental illness

Poppy Jaman, chief executive of the not-for-profit Mental Health First Aid England (MHFAE), believes Theresa May meant business when she pledged in January to make mental health a priority. Despite ministers being accused of breaking their promises after £800m in cash earmarked for mental health was last month redirected to offsetting wider NHS budget problems, Jaman argues that the government will come good.

Related: Prince Harry grief revelations draw praise from mental health experts

The jobcentre service needs staff who understand mental health so people get the right support

Related: Prince William: suicide callout shed light on men’s mental health

Continue reading…

Sulky MPs and death penalty nostalgia show Britain is far from united

Theresa May’s claims of national unity sound increasingly deluded amid the conflicting visions of a post-EU Britain

It’s not just the fact that Scotland is demanding a second independence referendum, Northern Ireland is in political deadlock and the Welsh are becoming steadily more disaffected that makes Theresa May’s claims the country has never been so united sound increasingly deluded. The problems start rather closer to home in parliament. One of the unexpected joys of being a sketch writer is getting to observe the 21 MPs on the Brexit select committee at close quarters. The committee is split roughly 50/50 on highly partisan remain and leave lines, and as a result is almost entirely dysfunctional, with the remainers only ever asking questions likely to elicit answers that show Brexit is going to be a total disaster, while the leavers are only interested in ones that predict everything will be fantastic. Just this week, the chairman of the committee, the generally fair-minded Hilary Benn, produced a 154-page draft report of the evidence they had heard so far and the leavers were outraged it had not been given a more positive spin. After an hour of trying to persuade Benn to make the report less gloomy, six of the leavers stomped out in a sulk.

Continue reading…