This week's column comes from Naz Shah, Labour MP for the Bradford West constituency

Bradford Telegraph and Argus: Bradford West MP Naz ShahBradford West MP Naz Shah (Image: Other)

Almost 14 years of Tory failures, seven chancellors, five Prime Ministers, and no wonder we are in the mess that we are in today.

Our councils are struggling with years of underfunding, our NHS forced on its knees, our streets filled with crime, and our economy stagnating, and neither will the books of history, nor the British public reflecting on the last 14 years be kind to those that were given the privilege to govern Britain, and led it into such a mess.

Yet, with a possible general election looming, the Conservative Party is doing what it does best: building further instability with another plan to oust its leader.

The only consistent offering from this current government has been a sense of instability.

Conservative chancellors have been in charge of the country's finances for far too long and to no avail.

The turnover of chancellors in the previous years displays the current Government's unstable characteristics which feeds into the unsteady economy of our country. 

The Conservative Government has been quick to put forth policies, yet slow in executing the implementation of them.

The promise to ban zombie knives, for instance, remains an empty gesture amidst rising knife crime rates.

Bradford Telegraph and Argus: A zombie-style knife. Picture posed by model. PAA zombie-style knife. Picture posed by model. PA (Image: PA)

This not only reflects poorly on their commitment to public safety but also underscores a pattern of announcing ambitious plans without the due diligence of effective execution.

A third crackdown has been introduced this week to tackle this issue, however, zombie knives were first banned over eight years ago in 2016. How has there been such a delay in such a crucial area in safeguarding our citizens? 

Education is the fundamental pillar to building a nation's future, but a complete failure from Conservative governments means that absentee rates in British schools have gone through the roof. 

Across the autumn and spring terms this year, over 1.5 million children (or one in five) were persistently absent from primary and secondary school, more than double the number absent during the same term five years ago.

Bradford schools' absentee rates have gone from 10,000 in the spring and autumn terms in 2016/17 to more than 23,000 in the same period in 2022/23.

Bradford Telegraph and Argus: Concerns have been raised about absentee rates in schools. Picture: PAConcerns have been raised about absentee rates in schools. Picture: PA (Image: PA)

Concerning severe absentees, we have gone from 700 in 2016/17 to 2,500 in 2022/23, and if we carry on at the current rate, we will have more than 4,000 pupils with severe absences by 2026/2027. This would mean 4,000 pupils missing 50 per cent of lessons. 

It doesn't take a genius or an expert to understand the impact on our children's education when we look at school absentee rates. Undoubtedly, this will impact our economy, crime, anti-social behaviour, and, importantly, the future of our nation. 

Another prime example includes the Government's recent Rwanda Policy.

This approach to immigration raises ethical questions and highlights how this Government continuously pushed forward an unworkable plan that costs the taxpayer millions. Such policies reflect a Government more concerned with populist rhetoric than addressing the real challenges of migration and asylum.

Bradford Telegraph and Argus: Prime Minister Rishi SunakPrime Minister Rishi Sunak (Image: PA)

Regrettably, empty promises have also become a consistent trademark of the Conservative Government. We have witnessed time and time again how this Government announces their ambitious agendas with great fanfare only to be quietly put aside when politically inconvenient.

An economic crash, record high NHS waiting lists, the mortgage bombshell, the list goes on and on. And quite frankly, I am tired of it. 

The Conservative Government has overstayed its welcome, marked with a string of failures and broken promises.

It's now time for a change, a real change that can only be brought about by a new leadership that understands the needs of the people and is committed to fulfilling them.

As the MP for Bradford West, I have witnessed first-hand the consequences of Tory policies on my constituents. The need for a Government that prioritises the welfare of its people over personal political agendas has never been greater.