Rishi Sunak Facing Fresh Tory Rebellion Over Stalled Levelling Up Bill

The prime minister is already under pressure from furious Brexiteers after watering down plans to axe EU laws.
Rishi Sunak is coming under pressure from Tory MPs.
Rishi Sunak is coming under pressure from Tory MPs.
WPA Pool via Getty Images

Rishi Sunak is facing a fresh rebellion by Tory MPs over stalled plans to “level up” the country.

The prime minister has been warned that the Conservatives face election defeat unless he makes good on the promises made to voters in the Midlands and north of England.

It comes after Brexiteers reacted angrily to the government’s decision to water down plans to scrap thousands of EU laws.

Ten Tory MPs from the east Midlands wrote to the PM today insisting that the Levelling Up Bill - which is currently going through the House of Lords - must become law by the summer.

The bill would lead to billions of pounds of fresh investment being ploughed into deprived communities, with local politicians given the power to decide where it is spent.

In their letter, the MPs said they needed to be able to “demonstrate clearly on the doorstep what Conservative policies mean in the real world for jobs, families and local investment”.

They said: “If the government fails to pass this law…urgently, before the summer…our opportunity to size this chance and deliver tangible, real world benefits to our constituents ahead of the next general election will be lost.”

It is yet another headache for Sunak on the back of last week’s disastrous local elections, which saw the Tories lose more than 1,000 seats.

He angered his MPs again last night by ditching plans to get rid of remaining European laws from the UK’s statute book by the end of this year.

Former cabinet minister Jacob Rees-Mogg said: “The written ministerial statement breaks the Prime Minister‘s clear promise to review or appeal all EU laws in his first hundred days.

“Instead, he has decided to keep nearly 90% of retained EU law.

“This is an admission of administrative failure, an inability of Whitehall to do the necessary work and an incapability of ministers to push this through their own departments.

“Regrettably, ‘the blob’ has triumphed and the prime minister has abandoned his promise.”


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