‘We’re going to focus on the immediate issues” – Boris Johnson’s message during visit to Hartlepool and Sunderland

Prime Minister Boris Johnson has been in Hartlepool and Sunderland on Bank Holiday Monday promoting the Tory candidates ahead of the local elections.

By Neil Fatkin
Monday, 2nd May 2022, 4:25 pm
Updated Monday, 2nd May 2022, 7:30 pm

With council elections due to take place on Thursday, May 5, the Prime Minister was looking to rebuild trust with the region’s electorate following the Partygate fall-out and his recent fine for attending a gathering which breached Covid rules.

Mr Johnson was visiting Hartlepool Nuclear Power Station and then later made an unpublicised stop in Washington where he was keen to stress the Government’s record in bringing investment to the region’s economy.

He also visited Whitley Bay and a pub near Newcastle Airport.

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Boris Johnson in Washington on Bank Holiday Monday.

Mr Johnson said: “The opposition can focus on whatever they want but we are going to focus on the key issues to the people of the North East and what we are already delivering.

"In the last year you have seen GE come in with their turbines investment on Teesside, the development of the Teesside Free Port site, the British Volt plant at Blyth, Saudi Arabia has invested £1 billion in the hydrogen sector, and you’ve got the Nissan development of the Envision plant in Sunderland.

"You can see investment taking place in the North East, hand over fist, and it’s really fantastic to see it. We need to focus on the immediate issues which are things like people’s energy bills. We need to get people over this immediate hump – which I appreciate is really tough – but the way to deal with that is to help people with their bills, such as the £150 rebate.

"In terms of Thursday’s elections, I really think people should focus in what we’re doing to transform people’s opportunities here in the North East.”

Boris Johnson at Hartlepool Nuclear Power Station during a visit to the North East Image ©Licensed to Parsons Media. 02/05/2022. , United Kingdom. Boris Johnson-North East Local Election Campaign Day. Picture by Andrew Parsons CCHQ / Parsons Media.

Other key areas cited by the Prime Minister included “getting more police officers out on the streets” and improving broad band connectivity.

With Hartlepool’s power station set to begin the process of decommissioning in 2024, Mr Johnson said the town was “very likely” to be selected as one of the sites for the Government’s construction of eight new nuclear reactors.

While in Hartlepool, Mr Johnson was also due to meet with Richard Lee, father of Katrice Lee, who four decades ago sadly disappeared from a British military base.

Boris Johnson on top of one of the nuclear reactors at Hartlepool Nuclear Power Station. Image ©Licensed to Parsons Media. 02/05/2022. , United Kingdom. Boris Johnson-North East Local Election Campaign Day. Picture by Andrew Parsons CCHQ / Parsons Media