Boris Johnson has been warned voters in the red wall need to see “physical changes” soon, otherwise they will abandon the Conservatives.
The prime minister has made “levelling up” the country outside of the south east a key part of his agenda, putting Michael Gove in charge of delivering on the promise.
Speaking on the fringes of the Tory conference in Manchester on Tuesday, the Conservative MP for Great Grimsby, Lia Nici, said people were “expecting to see something now happen”.
“If I don’t see physical changes in my town before the next election I am highly likely not to keep my seat,” she said.
“My concern is national government and local government move incredibly slowly.”
Great Grimsby had been a Labour seat since the 1940s, until Nici won it off Labour with a 7,331 majority in 2019.
“The message now is we need to get on with the job,” she added. “Ww really now need to see some positive change.”
Speaking at the same event, Robbie Gibb, Theresa May’s former communications director, who now sits on the BBC board, also said there was “huge risk” for the prime minister of “non-delivery” on his pleges. “There are great expectations,” he said.
“What Covid showed is it’s possible to do things quickly,” he said. “There is a risk we are going into a state where things take forever.”
It comes ahead of Johnson’s set-piece conference speech to the party faithful - and country - on Wednesday.