TORY flip-flopper Boris Johnson appeared yesterday to have switched sides again — this time over public-sector pay, after he U-turned on calls to scrap the cap and warned against a “crazy Corbynite splurge.”
The Foreign Secretary had supported the lifting of the 1 per cent public-sector pay cap, that has suppressed the wages of frontline and emergency workers in real-terms, amid division in the Cabinet over the issue.
Those close to Mr Johnson had indicated that he was one of several senior Tory MPs calling for a change of tack over public-sector pay because of the growing dissent from the public over the government’s treatment of workers who risked their lives to assist after terror attacks and at the Grenfell Tower fire disaster.
Prime Minister Theresa May announced this week that there were still no plans to end to the seven-year pay freeze for nurses, firefighters and other public-sector workers.
And Mr Johnson told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme yesterday morning: “It is very, very important that you manage your economy sensibly and you don’t just go for a crazy Corbynite splurge.”
This is not the first time that Mr Johnson has yo-yoed over a policy. He famously supported Britain remaining in the EU before switching sides to play a leading role in the official Leave campaign.
He was accused of “opportunism” and was forced to deny that he was using the EU referendum campaign as a bid to become Tory Party leader should former prime minister David Cameron stand down.
Mr Johnson withdrew from the leadership race after then Justice Secretary Michael Gove announced he was standing, after claiming he did not have the necessary support.
Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn accused the government of “flip-flopping” and “floundering” over public-sector pay at PMQs on Wednesday.
More than 100,000 people marched through London last weekend in a demonstration organised by the People’s Assembly as they demanded an end to public-sector pay restraint.
People’s Assembly national secretary Sam Fairbairn told the Star: “When the Tories need to cling on to power they can find whatever amount of money they need.
“This government clearly doesn’t care about ordinary people. But their catastrophic decision to call a snap election has left them weak, divided and on the verge of collapse.
“They won’t last long if we continue to mobilise and strike against them.”