-Unveils roadmap for economic progress, development
-Claims COVID-19 cannot dragged down Great Britain
-Accuses opponents of seeking to rewrite history
LONDON: Prime Minister Boris Johnson promised on Tuesday to transform Britain rather than settle for the “status quo” after the coronavirus crisis by building more new homes, improving education, fighting crime and boosting the green economy.
In a speech aimed at rallying his Conservative Party, which has become increasingly critical of its leader, Johnson laid out his vision for Britain, where deep-rooted inequality has been laid bare by the COVID-19 pandemic. Using his own battle with weight loss which made a bout of COVID-19 more difficult to overcome as a metaphor for changing Britain, he listed the areas he wanted to tackle – housing, education, jobs, climate change and crime.
But he offered few clues on funding and opposition parties criticised the speech for being the “usual bluster” with scarce detail on how he would protect jobs or get control over the increasing number of coronavirus infections. “We’ve been through too much frustration and hardship just to settle for the status quo and to think that life can go on as it was before the plague,” he told the Conservative Party’s virtual conference.
“It will not, because history teaches us that events of this magnitude, wars, famines, plagues, events that affect the vast bulk of humanity, as this virus has, they don’t just come and go. We can’t now define the mission of this country as merely to restore normality.” Hitting back at critics who say he has both lost control of the coronavirus pandemic in Britain and struggled since suffering from COVID-19, Johnson said suggestions he had lost his “mojo” was “self-evident drivel”.
“The kind of seditious propaganda that you’d expect from people who don’t want this govt to succeed, who wanted to stop us delivering Brexit and all our other manifesto pledges,” he said, adding he was sticking with the diet after losing 26 pounds. His speech was aimed at those who suggest that the former London mayor has no vision for Britain with him repeating his pledge to build back better with a focus on the green economy.