Prime Minister Boris Johnson will pledge on Sunday to make “big, bold decisions” to transform post-Covid Britain, in hopes of setting the tone for the ruling Conservative Party’s conference already ravaged by fuel, gas and Christmas food crises.
Johnson had planned to use the conference this week to turn the page on more than 18 months of COVID-19 and to refocus on his 2019 election promises to tackle regional inequality, crime and social care.
Instead, the prime minister is more than nine months since Britain’s departure from the European Union – a departure he believes would give the country the freedom to better shape its economy.
He is now facing outrage from those unable to fill their cars with petrol, from retailers fearing there could be a shortage of Christmas rates and from gas companies struggling with a spike in wholesale prices.
In a statement released on the eve of the conference in the city of Manchester, Johnson did not refer to the ongoing crises, but instead spoke out about what he called the “track record of delivering on people’s priorities”. .
“We didn’t go through Covid to go back to how things were before — to the status quo ante. Build Back Better means we want things to change and improve as we recover,” he said.
“That means making big, bold decisions about the priorities people care about — like social care, supporting jobs, climate change, fighting crime and leveling up.”
He repeated his mantra that the government was doing everything it could to keep businesses afloat during the pandemic, protect jobs, and had successfully rolled out a mass vaccination program.
But for many critics, this oft-repeated statement underscores a refusal to acknowledge missteps in the early days of the pandemic, when the government seemed reluctant to shut down the economy to halt the spread of the virus.
At the conference, the withdrawal of a state benefit supplement for low-income households and the end of a COVID job support scheme could also come under criticism from some lawmakers, particularly those from regions of northern and central England that have traditionally had support. granted the opposition Labor party.
(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and has been published from a syndicated feed.)