Two-thirds of people in the North don't believe Boris Johnson's 'levelling up' pledge

Two-thirds of people in Yorkshire and the North say they are not confident Boris Johnson's government will deliver on its promise to "level up" the economy where they live, a new survey has revealed.

A poll for ITV News released today shows that people in northern England are less confident the Government will keep its pre-election promises to rebalance the economy than those in the Midlands.

A total of 67 per cent of people in the North said they were not confident the Government will deliver on its 'levelling up' pledge, compared with 49 per cent of those surveyed in the Midlands.

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The Yorkshire Post today reports that a new taskforce of Conservative MPs has been formed to hold Boris Johnson to his ‘levelling up’ agenda as new figures illustrate the stark divide between the educational prospects of London and Yorkshire.

Less than a third of the population goes onto higher education in five areas of the region and the proportion of young people in Yorkshire going to university lags far behind that in the capital, according to analysis by Onward, a think-tank led by Huddersfield-born Conservative MP Neil O’Brien.

The Conservatives took a number of traditional Labour seats across Yorkshire in last year's General Election amid promises that the party would "unleash the productive power not just of London and the South East" but all parts of the UK.

The poll by Savanta ComRes for ITV News also found that 40 per cent of people in northern England and the Midlands think where they live is being 'left behind'

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Boris Johnson at last year's Convention of the North in Rotherham. Pic: Getty ImagesBoris Johnson at last year's Convention of the North in Rotherham. Pic: Getty Images
Boris Johnson at last year's Convention of the North in Rotherham. Pic: Getty Images

Some 32 per cent of people in the North and Midlands are satisfied with Boris Johnson's handling of the pandemic and 72 per cent say coronavirus has had a negative impact on their local economy and high street.

The poll was commissioned as part of a special week of coverage on ITV Regional News in the north of England, the Midlands and Wales, called Levelling Up, which is looking at the state of economy, health and education in their communities.

The survey also asked people living in northern England and the Midlands how they feel coronavirus has affected their local area, health and children's education.

Thirsk and Malton MP Kevin Hollinrake, one of the MPs to join the levelling up taskforce, said the agenda "has very strong support in Thirsk and Malton".

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He said: "This has always been a priority for me and by joining this taskforce I want to bring further pressure to bear to make it happen.

"The coronavirus crisis has only made the case for levelling up stronger and we must get the economy moving in areas that are less well- off and support rural areas such as our communities in North Yorkshire.”

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