After another full day campaigning and meeting constituents, we head over to Golders Green to celebrate the opening of The London Jewish Family Centre. The invitation only came in late that afternoon but I certainly want to show my support for the work which is being completed on behalf of the whole community and to make the point clear that a Conservative Government will continue to fund Surestart centres, such as this one.
Only last week at the Mill Hill hustings my Labour opponent tried to pull the wool over the eyes of those present by stating that a Conservative Government would withdraw funding for Sure Start and I stopped him to make it very clear that was completely untrue. His response was that it was the Conservative policy. Wrong again. It never has been and it is not our policy now. Our real policy for Sure Start centres is to expand them – specifically through an additional 4,200 health visitors who will be able to work with parents and children to identify problems at an early stage in a child’s development. But the truth never got in the way of political campaigning.
I was taken aback to hear a parliamentary candidate colleague of mine, Ben Gummer, put this point directly to Harriet Harman as she refused to withdraw a series of smears and lies Labour have been spreading, suggesting that Conservatives will close Sure Start Centres and withdraw various benefits from OAPs. This is not a matter of opinion, it is a fact - the Conservatives have said we will not withdraw funding for these services. Listen to the exchange yourself at:
The same happened at the Leaders’ Debate when David Cameron challenged Gordon Brown to withdraw leaflets which falsely claimed the Tories would scrap free bus passes and eye tests for the elderly. Cameon said "Those leaflets you've been getting from Labour, those letters you've been getting from Labour, are pure and simple lies." Of course Brown would not admit to them and said that he had not ‘authorised any leaflets like that’.
And last Friday, I met with a resident who said he had received a local letter saying a Conservative Government would increase social rents, which has been proved completely untrue. The resident even said to me that he doubted the truthfullness of the claim as another neighbour had told him it was not true. There is a strong pattern of negative campaigining emerging from the Labour Party but I believe people have seen through this and so Labour campaign like this at their own peril.