Andrew Marr: Levelling up is the government's 'moral purpose'

12 May 2022, 18:29 | Updated: 12 May 2022, 18:36

By Emma Soteriou

The Government's "moral purpose" is levelling up, Andrew Marr has said.

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Opening LBC's Tonight with Andrew Marr, the presenter explained that levelling up would be the "test" for whether Boris Johnson could deliver for voters in the north and midlands.

"Down south all the natter seems to be about the latest 50 fines for illegal parties in Downing Street during lockdown and yes, sure, important stuff," Andrew said.

"But it doesn't matter as much as people's ability to pay for food and heating, to find decent work and a proper place to live.

"The phrase levelling up was meant to mean that all those parts of the country cut out of prosperity and good times in the richest parts of the south would get a new start.

"If the Government has got a moral purpose, this is it."

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Andrew continued: "I can vividly remember Boris Johnson on election night in his victory speech - when he was still flushed with his victory in those red wall seats - he could imagine people's hands quivering over the ballot paper, wondering whether to put the cross in the Tory box.

"He wouldn't forget them, he wouldn't let them down - those Labour and Tory northern and midlands voters who backed him back in 2019.

"Well, levelling up is the test.

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"Earlier today, new research from financial analysts at the media company Bloomberg found that of 600 constituencies they looked at, only 10 per cent had seen real improvement in the last 12 years.

"Some 87 per cent were falling behind the richer south and that sounds pretty grim, so what's the truth?

"Today, we are up north and so, as it happens, is the Cabinet, meeting 45 miles away in Stoke.

"A perfect opportunity to look harder at the new political world of levelling up and the northern powerhouse."