Yorkshire 'let down' by Boris Johnson, says Sir Keir Starmer

Yorkshire has been “betrayed and let down” by Boris Johnson after people put their “good faith” in him at the 2019 General Election, according to Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer.

Labour Party leader Sir Keir Starmer speaks to the media outside BBC Broadcasting House, London, after appearing on the BBC1 current affairs programme, The Andrew Marr show
Labour Party leader Sir Keir Starmer speaks to the media outside BBC Broadcasting House, London, after appearing on the BBC1 current affairs programme, The Andrew Marr show

Downgraded plans for Northern Powerhouse Rail and tax rises to fund social care are, he believes, examples of broken promises which are leading

people to stop giving the Prime Minister “the benefit of the doubt”.

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Following a slump in the polls for the Government, Sir Keir said that Labour now needs to persuade the public “not just that Boris Johnson isn’t the man to be Prime Minister, but that I am the person to be Prime Minister”.

And he said that Mr Johnson and his government were taking many members of the public for fools for supporting him.

Speaking exclusively to The Yorkshire Post, Sir Keir said many people are now feeling betrayed by Mr Johnson after putting their faith in him at the last General Election.

He said: “Across Yorkshire in particular, I think very many people gave Boris Johnson the benefit of the doubt, and in good faith, they put their trust in him.

“That what he was promising them he would deliver.

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“But it’s increasingly obvious that he was making promises that he could never deliver.

“And if I look at Yorkshire in particular and the issue of Northern Powerhouse Rail, Yorkshire has been completely betrayed and let down.”

His comments come as Boris Johnson hits record lows in the polls following several weeks of bad news across Government and Number 10, leading to accusations levelled by the Labour leader that the Prime Minister is taking the country “for fools”.

A number of Conservative MPs from across the North of England voiced their displeasure in November when the long-awaited Integrated Rail Plan showed that the Eastern Leg of HS2 from the Midlands had been scrapped through to Yorkshire, and plans for the Northern Powerhouse Rail project across the Pennines significantly scaled back, with no plans for a long-hoped-for new station in Bradford,

“I went to Bradford, on the day of the announcements,” Sir Keir said,

“The interchange would have made a huge difference to Bradford and all the investment that went with it, they’ve been completely betrayed.

“So I’m not surprised that across Yorkshire but people are beginning to look at Boris Johnson again, and see him for what he is.

“He is, in many ways, taking the public for fools in all of this in, so many different ways.

“Obviously, what we need to do is to persuade the public not just that Boris Johnson isn’t the man to be Prime Minister, but that I am the person to be Prime Minister and that we would deliver differently. “

He added: “I’m afraid in the middle of Covid, we are in serious times and we need serious leadership.

“We need a leader that can command his or her own party and ensure that public health measures are passed and Boris Johnson can’t do that at the moment.”

“I think that the benefit of the doubt is being removed from Boris Johnson and again people are beginning to see that actually the Emperor’s got no clothes.”