'Build, build, build': Johnson hopes £5bn 'New Deal' will kickstart post-virus economy

The prime minister will announce a “New Deal” for the United Kingdom as he looks to take the country back to prosperity.

Boris Johnson will lay out a number of large infrastructure projects, which is hoped will create jobs and aid the economic recovery. 

An investment of £5bn, which is being compared to Franklin Delano Roosevelt’s 1930's “New Deal”, will be made. 

“It sounds positively Rooseveltian. It sounds like a New Deal," Mr Johnson is expected to say on Tuesday.

“All I can say is that, if so, then that is how it is meant to sound and to be, because that is what the times demand – a Government that is powerful and determined and that puts its arms around people at a time of crisis.

“This is a Government that is wholly committed not just to defeating coronavirus but to using this crisis finally to tackle this country’s great unresolved challenges of the last three decades.

“To build the homes, to fix the NHS, to tackle the skills crisis, to mend the indefensible gap in opportunity and productivity and connectivity between the regions of the UK. To unite and level up.

“To that end we will build, build, build."

  • ITV News Political Editor Robert Peston on the PM's likely announcement

Money will be spent on hospital maintenance, road networks and building schools, among other things.

The investments will be made across the country, with money being directed to the former Labour heartlands in the north where the Tories won seats at the last election.

“Too many parts of this country have felt left behind, neglected, unloved, as though someone had taken a strategic decision that their fate did not matter as much as the metropolis.

 “And so I want you to know that this government not only has a vision to change this country for the better, we have a mission to unite and level up- the mission on which we were elected last year.”

Mr Johnson attends a building site on Monday. Credit: PA

Liberal Democrat education spokeswoman and party leadership contender Layla Moran said Mr Johnson was offering nothing new.

She said: “Boris Johnson is attempting to hoodwink the nation again with reheated promises rather than seizing this moment to move forward as a country.

“This speech looks like a rehash of manifesto pledges with no real plan to deliver a greener and fairer future. It shows this Government has already run out of ideas and run out steam.

“The Prime Minister also needs to realise that our infrastructure is human, not just bricks and mortar.

“We need a mass retraining programme and a cast-iron promise not to repeat the mistakes of the Thatcher years and leave entire communities behind.”