UK PM must do more for the north of England: Lawmakers

People wearing protective masks walk behind a covid warning sign as the spread of the coronavirus disease (COVID-19) continues, in Liverpool, Britain

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson must explain how he will help the north of England, more than 50 of his lawmakers commanded in a letter, calling for a roadmap out of COVID restrictions and expedited infrastructure projects for the region.

Higher infection levels in the north of England mean there are tighter COVID-19 restrictions there, leading local politicians to warn that the pandemic is harder hitting their areas.

Johnson’s party won a landslide victory last year, buoyed by support from areas in northern England that had not earlier voted for them, after a promise to “level up” regions where productivity and investment lag in London.

Now, the more stringent restrictions in those areas threaten to set back those regions further, prompting Conservative MPs to call on Johnson to do more.

“We have long needed a good deal for the North from the Government, and the virus has only exacerbated that need,” said lawmaker William Wragg. He represents a constituency south of Manchester, in northern England.

In the letter, the lawmaker’s group calls for a “clear roadmap” out of the government’s highest lockdown tier, which takes in huge northern England areas, including Liverpool, Manchester, and South Yorkshire.

They also request that infrastructure projects such as new road and rail projects are accelerated to create jobs and boost growth and productivity and a specific Northern Economic Recovery Plan.

“We cannot forget that we must deliver on our commitments made during that election, to level-up northern communities and create opportunity across our region,” lawmaker Jake Berry, who represents a constituency north of Manchester, said in a statement.

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