Boris Johnson’s speech today: What did the PM say about the 'new deal' recovery plan?

PRIME minister Boris Johnson has made a major announcement today on how the government will help the UK recover from the coronavirus pandemic. 

The UK went into lockdown in an effort to prevent the spread of the deadly virus back in March 2020.

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What did the Prime Minister say?

The PM acknowledges that people are waiting “as if between the flash of lightning and the thunderclap, with our hearts in our mouths” for news on the economy.

He said of the Government's perceived response to the crisis: “Sometimes it seemed like that recurring bad dream where you're telling your feet to run, and your feet can't move.”

Chancellor Rishi Sunak will next week set out the Government's plans to get through the first phase of economic recovery – but Mr Johnson says it's time to get “radical”.

“We will double down on levelling up,” he says.

“We will end the injustice that some people need to sell their homes to finance the cost of their care, while others don't.”

'Build build build'

The Prime Minister's tagline for the speech was "build build build". In a quote emphasising this idea, he said: "Let's take the zap and elan of the armed services who build the Nightingale hospitals, the selflessness and love of the health and care workers and the charities, the public spirit and good humour of the entire population, and let's brew them together with the superhuman energy of Captain Tom, bounding around his garden at the age of 100 and raising millions for charity.

“Let's take that combination, that spirit, bottle it, swig it, and I believe will have found – if not quite a magic potion – at least the right formula to get us through these dark times.”

PM says that Covid crisis is moment to tackle problems

The Prime Minister said the Covid crisis is "the moment" to tackle the problems that have not been addressed for decades.

We tolerate "yawning gaps" between the best and rest, he says. We are not as productive as our global competitors, he added. 

PM pledged to end London-centric education 'injustice'

Boris Johnson said it was time for the system to recognise that "talent and genius are expressed as much by hand and eye as they are by spreadsheet and essay."

He wants to end the injustice that means London-based students are more likely to go to university than those from the Midlands.

That relies on cracking down on crime, pointing to the ongoing plan to recruit 50,000 more police officers.

Strengthen relationships between four nations

Mr Johnson said that now is the moment to "strengthen the relationship" between the four nations.

In order to drive economic growth in all parts of the country, a study of all transport between the four parts of the UK will be carried out.

"Double down on levelling up"

Mr Johnson said the government will "double down on levelling up", adding that the government has not forgotten it was elected to build 40 new hospitals.

He added: "We will step up the biggest ever programme of funding for the NHS."

Government commits to new homes

Mr Johnson addressed “decade after decade in which we have failed to build enough homes”.

“This government will shortly bring forward the most radical reforms of our planning systems since the end of the Second World War,” he says.

Covid-19 has “taught us the cost of delay”, he says, and asks: “Why are we so slow at building homes in comparison with other countries?”

Time for a new deal

“I am conscious that it sounds like a prodigious amount of Government intervention – it sounds like a New Deal – and if that is so, then it's how it's meant to sound and how it's meant to be, because that is what the times demand,” Mr Johnson said.

He says the Government will be “putting its arms” around Brits.

I'm not a communist

“I am not a communist – I believe it is also the job of the Government to create the conditions for free market enterprise,” Mr Johnson says.

He applauds “innovators, wealth creators, capitalist, financiers” – because “in the end, it's their willingness to take risks with their own money that will be crucial for our future success”.

He says “this is a government that backs Britain”.

What did Boris say in his last speech?

The Prime Minister's last annoucnment was on June 23.

Johnson revealed new changes to lockdown rules which will come into force from July 4.

These new rules will only affect those in England.

In his opening address, the PM said that they still believe there is no risk of a second wave.

The first item to be revealed was that the two-metre social distancing rule will be changed from July 4.

Mr Johnson said "where it is possible, keep two metres apart", but he added that it will be reduced to one metre plus where not possible.

This means that one metre must be obliged, while other measures like wearing face masks should be followed.

Two households can meet indoors or outside – but no more than two households can meet except outdoors like in parks.

Meanwhile, Mr Johnson added that these do not have to be the same two households, for example children can meet one set of grandparents one week, and the others the following week.

Much to the cheers of the Commons, the PM revealed pubs and restaurants will be able to open from July 4.

Hotels, B&Bs and campsites will also be allowed to reopen, along with hairdressers.

Places of worship will also be able to welcome people for prayers and weddings of up to 30 people.

On schools, Mr Johnson said that primary and secondary schools will have full attendance in September, while those that are currently eligible should return as "it is safe".

But indoor gyms, soft play areas, bowling alleys and nightclubs will remain closed, along with sports changing rooms and courts.

Meanwhile, the Prime Minister insisted that: "Like in other countries, there will be flare ups for which local measures will be needed.

"And we will not hesitate to apply the brakes and reintroduce restrictions even at national level, even if required."

Since then Leicester has seen a local lockdown extension of two weeks after a spike in coronavirus infections.

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