A Guide To Britain’s Political Parties
Fear not! You do not need to know anything about politics to read this article. In this post I’m going to be giving a brief profile of each of the three main UK parties, as well as the Green party and UKIP.
The three main parties in the UK are the ones that have the most influence in politics in this country. These are the Labour party, the Conservative party and the Liberal Democrats.
Name: The Conservative Party (sometimes referred to as the Tory party)
Leader: David Cameron- the Prime Minister
Status: Part of the Coalition Government
5 Key Policies
On The Economy: Cut funding to key public services, more funding to small businesses starting up, cutting benefits and people’s dependency on them,
On Education: Reforming the national curriculum, allow parents to save failing schools by creating academies, investing £18 billion in new schools.
On Health: Annual increase of funding to the NHS, make NHS staff properly accountable to patients, GP pay proportional to results, public ability rate services and hospitals.
On Justice and Immigration: Stricter controls and fines on underage alcohol sales, Annual limit on the number of non-EU economic migrants to UK, Introduction of police commissioners,
On the Environment: Provides incentives or recycle, working towards zero waste, expanding offshore wind and marine power.
Name: The Labour Party
Leader: Ed Milliband
Status: Opposition (not running the Government)
5 Key Policies
On the Economy: Double paid paternity leave, spending restraints to help economy, tax increases for the higher paid.
On Education: Pilot scheme to give all primary school children free school meals, extension of free nursery hours, one-on-one tuition for any child falling behind.
On Health: Maximum 18 week wait for treatment, more GP availability on evenings and weekends, more choice for patients on where they’re treated.
On Justice and immigration: High-earning offenders to pay a proportion of their prison costs, failing police forces will be taken over by successful ones, all public sector workers to speak English will apply only to those in contact with the public.
On the Environment: 40% low-carbon electricity by 2020, energy bill discounts for pensioners, making greener living easier and fairer through ‘pay as you save’ home energy insulation
5 Key Policies
On the Economy: Replace council tax with local income tax, annual savings totalling £15bn, including scrapping ID cards and not renewing the Trident nuclear deterrent.
On Education: £2.5bn to cut class sizes to 20 in primary schools, increase one-to-one tuition and provide catch-up classes for 160 pupils in each secondary school
On Health: Patient right to register with any GP, Integrate health and social care, allow people to stay in homes for longer rather than going into hospital
On Justice and Immigration: Increase the size of the police force, no annual limits on immigration but introduce points system for competence, have more regulations on CCTV and DNA collection.
On the Environment: At least 20% of energy and 40% of electricity will come from renewable sources by 2020, rising to 100% by 2050, more investment in public transport to cut emissions.
The Green party and the UK Independence Party (UKIP) are smaller parties, but both are still important in UK politics. The Green party is the only party outside the main three to have a representative in parliament and UKIP has (controversially) been gaining public support in the European Elections.
Name: The Green Party
Leader: Natalie Bennett
Status: 1 MP (Caroline Lucas),
- Oppose all welfare cuts
- Oppose privatisation and fight for public services to be in the hands of the public
- Drive the transition from fossil fuels to a sustainable world
Name: The UK Independence Party (UKIP)
Leader: Nigel Farage
Status: 0 MPs but gaining public support for the European elections.
- Regain control of the UK’s borders
- Leave the EU and make more laws within the UK
- Remove the UK from the European Court of Human Rights