After sleaze scandal and betrayal of HS2 and NPR, Boris Johnson should know the North has a long memory - The Yorkshire Post says

This Government believes it can get away with anything it likes.

Picture: Getty.

But engulfed in a sleaze scandal after trying to save its own skin – voting to rewrite Parliament’s disciplinary rules in a vain attempt to spare Owen Paterson, who had breached lobbying rules – MPs last night were expected to approve the original report of the standards committee, which recommended a 30-day suspension for the since-departed politician.

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Boris Johnson handed huge levelling up warning as axe looms for HS2 leg to Leeds

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The Government’s original plan would have made it even easier for Ministers to deceive the electorate in the future.

And speaking of which, Ministers are to scale back ambitions for Northern Powerhouse Rail and HS2, with proposals to deliver track upgrades rather than wholesale transformations, according to The i newspaper.

If this is announced later this week as expected, it would confirm once and for all that “levelling up” was never anything more than a handy slogan that has turned out to be one of the most unforgivable sleights of hand the Government has delivered to the North.

And that comes after this newspaper’s reports that across the country, local councils receive almost £16bn per year less than they did in guaranteed Government funding in 2010.

The Levelling Up Fund will eventually be worth £4.8bn, the Towns Fund £3.6bn and the Community Renewal Fund £220m –collectively totalling less than £9bn. While almost £400m of funding has been earmarked for councils in this region from the Levelling Up and Town Funds so far, critics say councils are being pitted against each other for cash.

With a general election due in May 2024, how on earth will the Conservative MPs who won “red wall” seats across the region be able to back their leader and his fellow Ministers after such displays of contempt?

Boris Johnson has shown his hand. He should know that the North has a very long memory.