Tory ministers aware of care plan just before manifesto launch

Reports suggest that Communities Secretary Sajid Javid and Health Secretary Jeremy Hunt were made aware of plans for the so-called ‘dementia tax’ hours before the Conservative manifesto launch.

BBC Two's Newsnight has revealed that Javid and Hunt, the two ministers responsible for social care, were informed of the controversial proposal at a late hour because future social care policy was being examined in the Cabinet Office rather than in their departments.

The plans, which would have seen costs of residential and domiciliary care taken from the estates of pensioners bar a final £100,000, were changed within four days of the launch, following a national backlash and party confusion.

It is believed that former Cabinet Office minister Ben Gummer was drawing up a Green Paper on social care due for publication later this year.

George Freeman, the MP for Mid Norfolk, also told Newsnight that he was not even shown a draft of the manifesto., despite being head of the Prime Minister’s policy board.

He said: "This was a catastrophe of a campaign and I wouldn't expect necessarily in a snap election it gets signed off by cabinet and it goes through a series of negotiations presumably and discussions. So I wouldn't expect to be holding the pen on the last draft. But I didn't see any draft. And I think there was a culture in the campaign of 'we the five or six of us are going to do this'."

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