Watch the latest Anglia Late Edition - the regional politics programme covering issues affecting the East of England presented by Political Correspondent Emma Hutchinson
This programme was transmitted in the ITV Anglia region on Thursday 24 November 2022
Anglia Late Edition discusses the biggest political issues, including Rishi Sunak's first month in office as the third Conservative Prime Minister in as many months.
Mr Sunak took over from the South West Norfolk MP Liz Truss who was elected by her party to take over from Boris Johnson but was forced to resign after just 42 days in Downing Street.
The Conservatives are still more than 20 points behind Labour in the polls, facing stark economic conditions including the highest inflation rate for more than four decades, plus record waiting lists in the NHS along with a series of industrial disputes and strikes.
Speaking on the programme, the Conservative MP for Hitchin and Harpenden Bim Afolami admitted the party had made mistakes but it had started the process of fixing them.
He said: "There were a lot of mistakes Liz Truss' government made. And it's important to be honest about that.
"There's a big global picture of rising inflation and every Western economy seeing rising interest rates.
"But I think that the conduct of the government meant that some of those problems were exacerbated and accelerated in this country, and that was why we had to get Rishi in."
Labour's candidate in Norwich North Alice Macdonald told the programme that people were really concerned about the future.
She said: "We haven't had stability for a long time. I had a pensioner telling me she thought she would be bankrupt by Christmas and that is the reality of people's lives.
"If you take, for example, NHS waiting lists, they were already high before the pandemic.
"This is this about 12 years of Tory economic failure I would say and 12 weeks of chaos."
ITV News Anglia's Political Correspondent Emma Hutchinson was joined on the programme by three politicians to debate the issues affecting the East of England.
Bim Afolami MP has been the Conservative MP for Hitchin & Harpenden in Hertfordshire since 2017 and is a member of the Commons' Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy Committee.
Alice Macdonald has been selected as the Labour candidate to contest the Norwich North seat at the next election. It is currently the one of the most marginal Conservative seats in the Anglia region held by Chloe Smith MP who is stepping down.
Cllr Pippa Heylings is a councillor in South Cambridgeshire and will be the Liberal Democrat parliamentary candidate in the South Cambridgeshire constituency at the next election.
The programme also discussed the growing calls within the Labour Party for a switch to proportional representation (PR) voting in UK elections. It has been a long-standing policy of the Liberal Democrats and Green Party for many years.
The current first-past-the-post system means the candidate with the most votes in each constituency wins the seat regardless of the total number of votes from other parties against them.
In the Anglia region at the 2019 General Election the Conservatives won 91% of the 69 seats but overall had less than 58% of the votes. Labour had a 25% share of the vote but won just five seats or 7% of the total.
Delegates at the Labour Conference in September voted for the party to include a commitment to PR in its next election manifesto although the party leadership is not obliged to do so.
The panel also discussed the West Suffolk MP's stint on ITV's I'm a Celebrity Get Me Out of Here in Australia. The former health secretary Matt Hancock has swapped the political jungle for one Down Under and in the process been stripped of his membership of the parliamentary Conservative Party.
Many of his constituents are angry he is not working as an MP as Mr Hancock has made it to the final five contenders on the reality show.
On Anglia Late Edition, fellow Conservative MP Bim Afolami went some way to defending Matt Hancock's decision.
He said: "At risk of making myself unpopular, I find it difficult to be outraged about this.
"If he was doing certain other things that weren't on TV, I don't think people would be as outraged."
But Mr Afolami admitted that Mr Hancock had probably done some damage to himself as a serious person
"This is an excuse for a lot of people to say I'm outraged. They're angry either because they don't like him personally or because they don't like the Conservative party.
"He's gone on a programme as a chance to humanise himself, for people to see what he's really like."
The political map of the Anglia region is being re-drawn in time for the next election with an additional three MPs being elected in the area.
The constituency boundaries are being adjusted to ensure a similar number of voters are in each seat and, as the population of the East of England has increased, three new constituencies are being created.
Use the map to discover the proposed changes in your local constituency by moving your cursor over the screen
Across England, 10 new constituencies will be created with each seat having between 69,724 and 77,062 voters.
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