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October 27, 2020 @ 11:21 +03:00
More than 50 of Boris Johnson’s own Conservative members of Parliament have demanded a clear route out of lockdown for parts of northern Britain that helped give his party a majority in last year’s election. In a letter to the prime minister, the MPs warned that his pandemic strategy of targeting local areas with restrictions was disproportionately damaging the economies of northern regions of the country and deepening the divide between the north and the wealthier south.
The MPs reminded Johnson of his promises to “level up” disadvantaged parts of the country, which helped persuade voters in former industrial heartlands last December to back his Tories instead of the opposition Labour Party many had supported for decades.
The MPs, all from northern England, north Wales and the Scottish borders, called for a “clear roadmap” out of local lockdowns and a dedicated northern economic recovery plan, with investment in rail and other infrastructure projects.
For so many Tories to go public and back a coordinated set of demands shows the scale of disquiet in Johnson’s own party over his coronavirus strategy. The premier has been battling resistance from local leaders and mayors over his decision to impose strict restrictions on regions in the north including the city of Manchester.
Johnson insists that his policy of local lockdowns — organized into three tiers of restrictions — is better than hitting the entire country with a second economically disastrous national lockdown. But local politicians regard it as unfair and some Tories worry the strategy will cost them support.
Boris Johnson Hit by Lockdown Revolt From More Than 50 Tories, Bloomberg, Oct 27