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Boris Johnson Gives Chaotic Speech To Business Leaders As Pressure Grows On Levelling Up

Boris Johnson Gives Chaotic Speech To Business Leaders As Pressure Grows On Levelling Up

(Alamy)

2 min read

Boris Johnson was under pressure to use his speech to the annual Confederation of British Industries (CBI) conference on Monday to define his plans to boost the UK economy — but he had more to say about Peppa Pig World than levelling up.

During his 20-minute speech to business leaders at the Port of Tyne in South Shields, the Prime Minister compared his green policies to the Ten Commandments, imitated an accelerating car and was left shuffling papers after he lost his place.

Johnson is under increased pressure to define his pledges on levelling up after rail improvement plans for the North of England were downgraded last week, but insisted that government was working to "solve our productivity puzzle and to rebalance our lopsided economy". 

He said that the UK was undergoing a “green industrial revolution”, describing his 10-point green plan as like the "new Decalogue... back from Mount Sinai", and that rebalancing the UK's economy "must begin with energy and power generation". 

Johnson also announced that new homes and public buildings in the UK would be required to have electric charging points for cars, reportedly creating 145,000 extra charge points each year.

Heaping praise on electric vehicles, Johnson said that while electric cars might not have the same "grrhmm vroom rahh" that petrol cars do, they lift off from the traffic lights "faster than a Ferrari".

He called for an end to working from home, claiming that “young people need to be in the office to learn and compete”.

“There are sound evolutionary reasons why mother nature does not like working from home,” he said.

“I prophesise that people will come back to the office, and they will come back on the roads and in the rail.”

Johnson then asked reporters in attendance if they’d ever been to Peppa Pig World. He explained that the theme park was “my kind of place” as it had safe streets, disciplined schools, and mass transit systems.

He also praised the Peppa Pig brand as a marker of UK creativity on the global stage.  

“Who would have thought that a pig looking like a hair dryer could become a global brand?,” he added. 

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