Boris Johnson speech: The five major announcements PM made at Tory conference today
Boris Johnson: Everybody needs to be treated with dignity and respect
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Boris Johnson’s Conservative Party conference has predominantly focused on plans for the future and “getting on with the job” amid the ongoing fuel crisis, warnings of shortages at Christmas and environmental protesters causing travel chaos on major roads. The Prime Minister attempted to define his “levelling-up” agenda on the final day of the Tory conference at the same time as the £20 Universal Credit uplift came to an end.
For the first time in two years, Mr Johnson addressed crowds in Manchester during the Tory Party conference during which he urged the crowd to “get back to the job”.
The UK leader focused on several key areas on Tuesday, including the fuel crisis, levelling up, the coronavirus pandemic and taxes.
Mr Johnson kicked off his speech poking fun at the former Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn, saying the party had “sent the corduroyed communist cosmonaut into orbit where he belongs”.
He praised the coronavirus vaccine rollout and also made a reference to Michael Gove’s now-viral dancing video.
The Conservative Party leader used his speech to stress his determination to tackle the broken pre-Brexit economic system to ensure Britain becomes a high wage economy.
Mr Johnson also referenced Margaret Thatcher, saying she “would not ignore the meteorite that has crashed through our economy”.
Boris Johnson has announced a new £3,000 “levelling up premium” for talented maths, physics and chemistry teachers to go and work in areas most in need.
Mr Johnson said is unfair there are such huge discrepancies in life achievements for individuals depending upon where one is born and lives.
He said he wants to ensure the UK is a “low tax economy” which is “what the people of this country need and deserve”.
The discrepancy between the North and South is “holding the country back”, Mr Johnson added.
Defining what levelling up actually entails has been a key topic throughout the conference.
Deputy Prime Minister Dominic Raab, who has a marginal seat in Surrey, said “levelling-up” needs to be sold to southern voters as an opportunity to grow the economy outside the South East to make sure other parts of the country pay a greater share of tax, easing the burden on them.
Mr Johnson claimed the Labour Party does not like “levelling up” and said there “may be under-privileged” parts of the country and he added some areas are “overheating”, with housing shortages and crowded commuter trains in the South.
Labour “in their souls” do not agree with levelling up according to Mr Johnson.
He said: “They don’t – they like levelling down. Decapitating tall poppies… they like kids to run races where nobody actually wins.
“I don’t think that is good preparation for life, let alone the Olympic Games.”
Mr Johnson added the UK has one of the most lopsided economies in the world and inequalities are not just regions, but within specific areas.
He said: “What monkey glands are they applying in Ribble Valley, what royal jelly, are they eating that they live seven years longer than the people of Blackpool, only 33 miles away.”
Mr Johnson addressed new punitive measures for criminal behaviours.
He said it is his mission to ensure opportunities are equally spread around the country.
The PM added: “It is all about opportunity. It is still a grim fact that some kids will grow up in neighbourhoods that are much safer than others.”
Highlighting Priti Patel’s crime announcements on Tuesday he said some people will be sucked into gangs as a result of inequalities.
Mr Johnson said: “What is Labour’s answer? To decriminalise drugs…. an answer that is straight from the powder rooms of North London.”
He added: “Crime has been falling… because you have a Conservative Government that understands the broken window theory of crime…. if you can steal a dog or a cat there is frankly no limit to your depravity.”
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Mr Johnson urged Britons back to the office.
He said towns and cities should be “buzzing with life” again in no time if people return to offices.
The PM told the audience: “We know that a productive workforce needs that spur that only comes with face to face meetings and water cooler gossip.
“If young people are to learn on the job in the way that they always have and must we will see people back in the office.”
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