The 10 Downing Street press office’s avoidance of any questions about the meeting – bizarrely trumpeted by Theresa May during this week’s PMQs (Prime Minister’s Questions) – of her ‘Rough-sleeping task-force’ continues.
Mrs May was responding to a question from Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn, who pointed out that the task force was announced last November but, four months later, did not appear to have met. Oddly, Mrs May appeared to think that saying it had met for the first time that very morning was a triumph:
No. 10 has stated that an announcement was made ‘a couple of weeks ago’ that a meeting would take place without any specific date being mentioned, but refused to say when a firm date for the meeting was arranged – or who attended it.
In follow-up questions, the SKWAWKBOX asked, if details of the attendees could not be disclosed, for confirmation of how long the meeting lasted – and how many people were present.
We wouldn’t provide any further details like this.
So, on Wednesday Theresa May claimed that the rough-sleeping task-force – which had not met during four of the coldest months of the year and which mentioned meeting two weeks ago but did not meet during the recent vicious, nationwide freeze – met for the first time on Wednesday morning, just in time for PMQs.
But nobody will say when the meeting was arranged, who attended, how many attended or how long it lasted.
The members of the task-force are all Tory MPs, so there is nobody even quasi-independent to ask for more information:
The SKWAWKBOX is attempting to find out whether minutes were taken and whether a civil service functionary attended to minute the ‘meeting’ and arrange any resulting actions.
But on the evidence available – or rather, not available – so far, it looks entirely possible that a couple of the above MPs chatted in a corridor for a couple of minutes and called it a meeting, in an attempt to save Theresa May’s blushes by allowing her to claim the ‘task-force’ had met.
For that matter, there’s no proof that any meeting took place at all – merely Theresa May’s claim that it did.
Even on the most charitable interpretation, this sorry sequence tells a bleak tale of the paucity of the government’s concern for the plight of Britain’s rough sleepers – which seems dwarfed by their concern for appearances and PR.
The SKWAWKBOX needs your support. This blog is provided free of charge but depends on the generosity of its readers to be viable. If you can afford to, please click here to arrange a one-off or modest monthly donation via PayPal. Thanks for your solidarity so this blog can keep bringing you information the Establishment would prefer you not to know about.
If you wish to reblog this post for non-commercial use, you are welcome to do so – see here for more.