Boris Johnson will tomorrow say his agenda to “level up” poorer parts of the country will “take the pressure off parts of the overheating South East”.
The Prime Minister will use his Conservative party conference speech to say “levelling up works for the whole country” in an attempt to quell fears that the government’s agenda is anti-London.
The party conference in Manchester will end tomorrow, with few new policy announcements made by secretaries of state over the first three days.
Many of the fringe events at the conference have been centred around how the country can “level up” and “build back better” from the pandemic, with frontbenchers giving a wide range of answers of what these terms actually mean.
Some, including mayor of London Sadiq Khan, has suggested the agenda will mean a “levelling down” of the capital.
In his speech tomorrow, The Prime Minister is expected to say: “Levelling up works for the whole country – and is the right and responsible policy.
“Because it helps to take the pressure off parts of the overheating south east, while simultaneously offering hope and opportunity to those areas that have felt left behind.
“If you want the idea in a nutshell it is that you will find talent, genius, flair, imagination, enthusiasm – all of them evenly distributed around this country – but opportunity is not, and it is our mission as conservatives to promote opportunity with every tool we have.”
Johnson will also use his speech to stand firm on his commitment to not raise short-term immigration levels to ease worker shortages.
Many Britons are in for a tough winter ahead, with food and fuel shortages expected to last until Christmas at least.
This has been caused by a shortage of lorry drivers and other key workers in supply chains, with the government issuing 5,000 short-term visas for lorry drivers and 5,000 for poultry workers.
Labour and some business groups, including the CBI, are calling for an extension of more short-term immigration to deal with the challenge.
Johnson will say: “The answer…is not to reach for the same old lever of uncontrolled migration to keep wages low.
“We are not going back to the same old broken model with low wages, low growth, low skills and low productivity, all of it enabled and assisted by uncontrolled immigration.”