Tory 2019 election victory: Johnson speech promises 'superb infrastructure' across UK

Prime minister Boris Johnson has promised to deliver "superb infrastructure" to "every corner of the UK" and "the most far reaching environmental programme" in his general election victory speech this morning.

Prime minister Boris Johnson delivering his victory speech this morning. Pic: Getty Images
Prime minister Boris Johnson delivering his victory speech this morning. Pic: Getty Images

Johnson was speaking in central London after securing the biggest Conservative majority since the 1980s.

Although he did not mention housing, he repeated his party’s commitment to improving infrastructure and eliminating carbon emissions.

The Tory leader said there would be "colossal new investments in infrastructure and science, using our incredible technological advantages to make this country the cleanest, greenest on earth with the most far reaching environmental programme.

He added: "You the people of this country voted to be carbon neutral in this election by 2050 and we will do it."

Johnson said that victories in former Labour heartlands meant that the Conservative Party was now a "one nation" party.

He said: "We must recognise the incredible reality that we now speak as a one-nation Conservative Party literally for everyone from Woking to Workington, from Kensington I'm proud to say to Clwyd South, from Surrey Heath to Sedgefield, from Wimbledon to Wolverhampton.

"Let's unite this country, let's spread opportunity to every corner of the UK, with superb education, superb infrastructure, and technology."

The Conservative victory opens the way for the party to implement its proposals affecting planning and development, which were included in the party’s manifesto.

These include new powers for councils to use developer contributions to discount new homes for "local people" by a third, while infrastructure would have to be provided in new developments before any housing is occupied, the Conservative Party manifesto promises.

The manifesto also said the party remained "committed to devolving power to people and places across the UK", adding: "Our ambition is for full devolution across England, building on the successful devolution of powers to city region mayors, Police and Crime Commissioners and others, so that every part of our country has the power to shape its own destiny."

It said a Tory government would publish an "English Devolution White Paper" setting out its plans next year.

Responding to the election result, Stuart Andrews, national head of planning and consenting at law firm Eversheds Sutherland, said: "The most significant issue for the English planning system that will arise from a Conservative majority is its commitment to devolve ‘power to people and places across the UK’ and to secure ‘full devolution across England’.

"The process will lead to the combination and consolidation of local authorities into regional public bodies and it will fundamentally change the way all planning decisions are made.

"Ultimately, it will assist in the reintroduction of a strategic plan making system but that may take time to fully evolve."

Jonathan Werran, chief executive of think tank Localis said: "It appears that we have witnessed an unprecedented and epochal national political realignment, a sea-change that holds great promise for bold devolution and economic rebalancing over the next parliament."

The government’s desire to hold onto seats gained in the North and Midlands is likely to influence its devolution policy, he said.


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