The International Monetary Fund has ended January with a stark warning on the economy, predicting the UK economy will suffer worse than that of a sanction-imposed Russia over the next year – and so far we have heard nothing from the Tories other than an outright denial of the forecast.

We’ve entered February off the back of an already disastrous introduction to 2023 by our government. In only 32 days we’ve seen our first ministerial sacking of the year, a tax dispute involving the Prime Ministers father-in-law and more levelling-up money being spent in London and the South East than here across the North (although I have to admit I am at least happy they agreed to fund a bid which I led to invest in electric buses and EV charge points).

All of this chaos is the tip of the iceberg, lest we forget to mention Sajid Javid’s call to have people pay for NHS services, the former PM Boris Johnson’s apparent dishonesty over the BBC recommendation and receiving an £800,000 loan or the Prime Minister himself being fined for not wearing a seat belt while on a recent visit to Blackpool. The fact of the matter is in only one month we have seen so many traits of Tory toxicity more so than in ‘levelling up’,’ where they promised it all and deliver next to nothing (except £19 million for the Prime Minister’s own constituency).

Similarly, with the ongoing strike action, the Tories have the same touch. This month alone they’ve stated they ‘respect’ key workers while bringing through laws to sack them if they speak out against pay and working conditions.

Following most other key workers, teachers have now joined the rising number of workplaces taking industrial action.

After years of underfunding within our state schools, they have been handing out tax breaks to private schools. Yes, the Tories are now threatening the future of children across the country.

The whole result of this chaos is further impacting the cost of living crisis we are all suffering from. Failing on the economy and punishing those on strike is not the solution to getting Britain back on track.

Are you and your family better off than 13 years ago? Do our hospitals, our schools and our police work better than they did 13 years ago? Frankly, does anything work better than when the Conservatives came into office?

If the answers to these questions are no then you know it is time for a change.

Labour has a clear plan which brings hope and vision back to the foreground of politics, one which will enable families and communities to thrive.

We will be a green government, investing in our energy security at home and our target is to become net zero by 2030. Ed Miliband has set out a vast plan which creates jobs and looks to stop the irrevocable damage of climate change.

Under Labour, levelling up won’t just be an empty slogan where communities are pitted against one another and ministers sit in Whitehall picking winners and losers.

Labour will scrap this broken system.

We believe in devolution, we will give local, regional and national leaders the powers they need to support thriving local economies.

We will end the tax break which exempts private schools from paying VAT and business rates.

We will put that money where it belongs – into all our children’s futures, into our state schools.

We will work to not just protect in our public services but invest in them. We will invest in the largest workforce expansions in the history of our NHS.

More doctors, more nurses, more midwives, more health workers and a National Care Service to solve the long-term issues within our social care system.

Only a month has passed in 2023 and it very much feels like we are in the same place as we were in for much of 2022. The Conservatives have presided over 13 years of failure, they’ve failed our public services, failed our communities and now failed the economy.

Only a Labour Government can deliver for families in the North East.