SNP label Boris Johnson conference speech ‘waffle and deflection’ over lack of policy

The SNP have criticised Boris Johnson after he delivered a party conference speech that barely mentioned Scotland.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson delivers his keynote speech at the Conservative Party Conference in Manchester.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson delivers his keynote speech at the Conservative Party Conference in Manchester.

The Prime Minister made his address in Manchester Wednesday morning in a speech full of jokes but light on policy.

Mr Johnson used his Conservative Party conference speech to say he has the “guts” to reshape society, addressing issues which had been dodged by previous administrations.

With shortages of lorry drivers and other workers hitting supply chains, leading to empty shelves and queues at petrol stations, Mr Johnson defended his strategy of restricting the supply of cheap foreign labour after Brexit.

Spelling out what his “levelling-up” agenda means, he said: “The idea in a nutshell is you will find talent, genius, care, imagination and enthusiasm everywhere in this country, all of them evenly distributed – but opportunity is not.

“Our mission as Conservatives is to promote opportunity with every tool we have.”

Now the SNP’s Westminster Leader Ian Blackford MP has questioned the focus on jokes.

He said: "Boris Johnson' s shameless attempt to shift the blame onto anyone but himself will do nothing to fix the crisis he has caused with his disastrous hard Brexit and cruel Tory cuts.

"For all the waffle and deflection, the Prime Minister cannot escape the fact that millions of families are poorer and worse off as a direct result of his government's damaging policies.

"The Tory rank and file might have had a good laugh - but it is at everyone else’s expense.

“Outside in the real world, no one whose universal credit is being cut today by this cruel Tory government is laughing.”

Free market think tank the ASI also attacked the speech.

Its Head of Research Matthew Lesh said: "Boris’ rhetoric was bombastic but vacuous and economically illiterate.

"This was an agenda for levelling down to a centrally-planned, high-tax, low-productivity economy. Boris is hamstringing the labour market, raising taxes on a fragile recovery and shying away from meaningful planning reform.

"Hiking the minimum wage risks locking the most vulnerable out of a job while increasing inflationary pressures.

“Boris throws out impressive-sounding economic terms like ‘pareto improvements’ to hide the fact that he lacks policies to drive growth."


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