David Cameron will today promise to close the North South divide as he uses a visit to Yorkshire to warn voters “Labour has failed the North”.
The Prime Minister will link his success in any future Conservative government to “building a truly national recovery”, using transport and science investment schemes already announced during the campaign.
Mr Cameron is expected to say: “My message to everyone in the north is simple: the Conservative Party is the party for you. Forget about Labour, they’ve let you down before and they’ll let you down again. This time next week, Ed Miliband could be propped up the SNP, funneling cash north of the border. The only way to stop it, the only way to secure the future of the north, is by voting Conservative.”
The PM was speaking after appearing on the BBC Question Time event at Leeds Town Hall last night. Mr Cameron and party leaders Ed Miliband and Nick Clegg took questions from the audience but did not appear on stage together.
The event saw a bullish performance from Mr Cameron, while Mr Miliband was repeatedly asked why voters should trust him on the economy. The Labour leader said he did not believe Labour overspent in the run up to 2010, prompting an angry response from the audience, while others asked why he would deny them a say on the EU .
Mr Cameron’s North South vow builds on the party’s 2014 conference in which the Tories made clear their intent to close the North South divide.
In 2010 Mr Cameron set out his commitment to the North, using a speech in Shipley, his first outside of London since becoming PM, to make clear that “Yorkshire is a priority”and that the Conservatives would “rebalance economic power across our regions”.
Mr Cameron will today tell a Yorkshire audience: “We have the ideas, the passion, the desire and yes the track record to create something special here. What I’m pledging to here is nothing less than the most important commitment to the north for decades: we’re going to close the north-south growth gap. We’re going to build a Northern Powerhouse, with more jobs and new investment coming to the north.
“The next five years will see a northern surge – and, economically, it will be the most exciting time to be here since the industrial revolution.
“But it all depends on having a Conservative government. If the Scottish Nationalists are in charge, propping up a weak Ed Miliband, the north won’t get a look in. Transport projects in the north will get cancelled. Investment in science and industry in the north won’t happen.”