Rishi Sunak is in for a rude awakening if he thinks his party’s track record on levelling up is good enough

The Prime Minister sought to defend his record on levelling up as he revealed the Tory party’s election manifesto. But if Rishi Sunak thinks that his party is genuinely levelling up the country, then he is in for a rude awakening.

Communities across this region feel let down by the Tory party. After promising so much before the 2019 General Election, the Government has failed to make good on those promises to bridge regional inequalities, If anything, they’ve only widened further.

The previous general election was widely seen as a Brexit vote but examine the root cause for people voting to leave the EU and you find that there was mass disaffection with the way a lot of communities felt they had been left behind.

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And it must not be forgotten that Boris Johnson rode into many red wall towns promising to bring about change that would unlock opportunities for those communities. Even after the pandemic is taken into account, there is no way that the PM can claim that his Government has delivered on levelling up.

Prime Minister Rishi Sunak after launching the Conservative Party General Election manifesto at Silverstone. PIC: James Manning/PA WirePrime Minister Rishi Sunak after launching the Conservative Party General Election manifesto at Silverstone. PIC: James Manning/PA Wire
Prime Minister Rishi Sunak after launching the Conservative Party General Election manifesto at Silverstone. PIC: James Manning/PA Wire

“We don’t want you to leave the place that you call home to succeed,” The PM said at the unveiling of the Tory manifesto. He added: “Ultimately, that is the test of levelling up, so we will give our young people the skills and opportunities they need to succeed in today’s world.”

Unfortunately, the paucity of opportunities means that too many still have to leave home to seek a better future.

The rest of the party’s manifesto pretty much promised what the Tories have been pushing on the campaign trail including a pledge to halve immigration and a £17.2bn package of tax cuts. How these will be paid for remains to be seen but given the Tory party's record few will expect any of the promises to materialise.

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