Level up

How the Tories can ‘level up’ without annoying Nimbys

Have the Conservatives lost their nerve on planning reform? Not quite, but a couple of small interventions at the Conservative party conference in Manchester point in a new direction. If anything, they suggest more ambition, not less, on the part of the ministerial team involved – though less opportunity for a falling out with southern voters. The first, by Michael Gove, was yesterday in a Policy Exchange fringe event with Sebastian Payne on the latter’s new book, Broken Heartlands. The new Levelling Up Secretary told his interviewer that the gap between paying monthly rent and paying monthly mortgage instalments – which are lower than rents for first-time buyers lucky enough

Boris’s levelling up risks leaving behind London

Boris Johnson’s plan to ‘level up’ Britain sounds long overdue. It implies the creation of a less geographically unequal United Kingdom. What’s not to like? The motivating theory behind ‘levelling up’ seems to go like this: London, the beating heart of this relatively affluent corner of our nation, has had plenty of investment in recent years. It is now time to listen to the needs of the newly-Conservative ‘Red Wall’ and Leave-voting ‘left behind’ communities in the north of England. These areas have been ignored for decades, and recently voiced their displeasure at the ballot box. But the reality is rather more complicated – and there is a danger that,