Brexit: UK economy needs ‘fast growth’ to recover says Tice
With Britain finally freed from EU laws and regulations, the Government can turn its full attention to combatting the coronavirus pandemic and then delivering on an ambitious agenda. Boris Johnson is eager to use his premiership to reward those Brexiteer voters in the north of England who normally vote Labour but backed the Tories at the last election.
But there are plenty who see Brexit as the start of a wider shake-up of Westminster and want to see reform of the civil service, House of Lords, and even the funding model of the BBC.
Nigel Farage has renamed Brexit Party the Reform Party and pledged action on such issues.
However, Bury North MP James Daly, one of those Conservatives elected for the first time in 2019, wants the Government to seize on Brexit as a chance to better support local communities and do more to deliver on issues that matter to voters’ every day lives.
“Nobody has ever mentioned to me House of Lords reform in 10 years,” he told Express.co.uk.
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“The national debate is too often dominated on things like House of Lords reform when actually what’s affecting someone’s everyday life is ignored.
“Nigel Farage makes these generalised points which can get him so far, but I’m just not convinced he knows the answer on local issues.”
Mr Daly only narrowly won his seat in 2019 by 105 votes and the result required a recount to be verified.
Pointing out Westminster can seem as far away to his constituents as Brussels, he wants less talk on large constitutional matters which are only discussed in London, and more action on the priorities of voters.
He told this website: “I’m looking outside my window here and I can see a pothole. I can see a man walking with his dog.
“The first thing that affects his life is that pothole, he’s walking uptown a bus stop, where the bus will undoubtedly be late.
“These are the things that in the first ten minutes of his day are affecting him.”
Mr Daly believes the Conservatives can firm up seats they won in 2019 in the north of England with better investment in local communities.
But, the Tory representative added the levelling up agenda the Prime Minister has promised to champion must be about more than just funnelling money into the north.
“The levelling up fund which is coming is a massive multi-million pound fund where councils and MPs need to work together to bring investment in,” he said.
“But it’s got to actually level up, it’s got to have a focus to it.
“You can’t just give it to councils for it to just sit there and hope something changes.
“The biggest problem in politics over the last 50 years has not been a lack of investment.
“There have been towns all over the north of England that have had billions invested in them, and they look worse than they did in 1960.
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“It’s how you get the outcome from that investment.”
He warned local people must be involved in the decisions to ensure the priorities of constituents are addressed.
He said: “When you discuss things on a national level, it’s very difficult because what’s needed in Bury is not necessarily exactly as what is needed in, say, Darlington or Carlisle.
“We need to include national decision-makers and elected representatives for these areas on really important policy decisions.
“An MP should be embedded in their community and know what their priorities are.”
Still a local councillor as well as being an MP, Mr Daly passionately believes better representation on the local level is needed to help communities boom in the new post-Brexit era.
He said only through high-quality leadership at a local level can Mr Johnson’s levelling up vision be realised.
Hoping the pandemic has helped to boost a more “community-minded” ethos, he wants the Government to launch a national campaign to get more people involved in politics at a local level to help boost their communities.
He said: “We need to try and open up the pool of people who want to be involved in that and want to do something for the community.
“We need to have a big national campaign.
“I’m not having a go at the current councillors, but we need people with a dynamic vision to change their towns. We often don’t have that.”
Since taking over from Jeremy Corbyn as Labour leader following the 2019 election, Sir Keir Starmer has tried to make his party focus more on issues which matter to voters.
However, Mr Daly believes Labour still fails to understand the issues that matter to voters in the north. By better funding to local communities through a funding model that delivers actual change on the ground, he believes the Conservatives can once again win over voters at the ballot box.
He said: “Those who consider themselves as working-class thought their views were aligned with Labour. But now they’ve got yet another leader whose priorities are not what their priorities are.
“For Labour, it’s a sixth-form common room debate: ideology, over what you actually do to improve peoples lives.”
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