Ben Houchen warns Boris Johnson must ‘focus’ on keeping job promises for Teesside

Tees Valley Mayor Ben Houchen called on the prime minister to “focus” and keep his promises of investment, jobs and progress in areas such as Teesside.

Mr Houchen said Mr Johnson must make his New Year’s resolution to redouble and refocus the government’s work to ‘bring’ the UK up to standard.

He praised Mr Johnson’s resistance but warned the PM to remember what will decide the people’s votes in the next election or risk losing support in the Red Wall areas.

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The comments followed a troubled time for the Prime Minister which saw the Tories slide in opinion polls against Labor.

Mr Johnson has faced criticism over allegations by parties in Downing Street during the lockdown, a rebellion by his own MPs, including two Teesside MPs, over the introduction of covid restrictions and a by-election defeat in the heart of North Shropshire Tories.

A cost of living crisis fueled by rising energy costs and a rise in national insurance this year is also putting pressure on the government.

Mr Houchen said it was important for Mr Johnson to present himself to voters in Teesside who supported the PM in the 2019 general election.

He said: “The Westminster political bubble is not known for its long attention span, especially when it comes to the needs of the North. The entrenched political class of London, which has never looked beyond of Notting Hill and Islington, not to mention the M25, is trying to distract the Prime Minister from the leveling up cause.

“Boris still has a very responsive political antenna – that’s what made him the great survivor in the brutal world of Westminster politics – but he has to remember what will decide people’s votes on the day of the next ballot.

“They will see that the government has had real successes, especially in its world-class immunization and booster programs.

“But they will look to the future – and look for proof that they were right to stand behind him and this government to provide better lives for themselves and their families.”

In the letter, Mr Houchen called on Johnson to keep his 2019 promises when the Tories won ‘Red Wall’ seats such as Redcar and Sedgefield, as well as key Teesside misfits such as Stockton South and Middlesbrough South and East. Cleveland.

He said: “In 2019, Boris pledged investments, jobs and progress in areas left behind for decades by governments of all colors. This is what Boris can and still must deliver.

“As the mayor of Tees Valley, I work day and night to meet local priorities. From the investment at Middlesbrough Station, which now hosts its first regular LNER service to London in many years, to the Teesworks Skills Academy which ensures that local workers are equipped to get the most out of the Freeport’s investments , through my support for critical regional infrastructure like Teesside International Airport, people can see my focus on jobs, investments and ensuring the best possible future for Teessiders.

“It is time for the Prime Minister to focus, to remember what got him elected two years ago and what the British people need to see to make him Prime Minister in the next election.

‘Boris has some nudges in the British guns – he now needs to make sure Britain gets the Brexit boost it needs: jobs, investment, growth, upgrading and a better future for everyone part of our country. “

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Edward L. Robinett