Crawley council leader seeks assurances from new Prime Minister Boris Johnson

Boris Johnson presides over his first cabinet meeting as Prime Minister (Photo by Aaron Chown - WPA Pool/Getty Images)
Boris Johnson presides over his first cabinet meeting as Prime Minister (Photo by Aaron Chown - WPA Pool/Getty Images)

Crawley Borough Council’s leader has written to new Prime Minister Boris Johnson outlining a number of concerns.

Peter Lamb penned an open letter, which noted his concern about Boris Johnson’s controversial historic remarks, which he described as ‘worrying’.

The Labour councillor also sought assurances over spending commitments made by Mr Johnson during the Conservative Party leadership contest, in which he defeated fellow candidate Jeremy Hunt.

In the open letter, Mr Lamb said: “As part of your campaign, you also made a number of spending commitments — perhaps finally recognising that the austerity your party has put our citizens through was a political choice and not a necessity.

“These included reversing the loss of tens of thousands of police officers which has taken place under the Conservatives and reversing the £4.6billion cuts to schools which have taken place under the Conservatives, both of which commitments are urgently needed in Crawley.”

Mr Lamb questioned whether the funds would transpire. He said: “Can you confirm that you do intend to honour your word on these things and that they were not made solely to secure electoral support?

Labour's Crawley Borough Council leader Peter Lamb

Labour's Crawley Borough Council leader Peter Lamb

“Lastly, you have proposed to both cut the tax rate on company profits and to reduce the taxes paid by those on high incomes.

“Child poverty has grown considerably during the Conservatives’ time in office, at this point almost one in three of Crawley’s children are forced to live in poverty, over two-thirds of whom live in a family where at least one adult is working.

“The idea that our country’s Government would make a tax cut on corporate profits and for high earners a bigger priority than tackling poverty in the UK, at the very least for our children, turns the stomach. Would you be willing to commit to making tackling poverty a bigger priority for your administration than tax cuts for the wealthy and corporations?”

In May, The Observer reported how three in 10 children in Crawley are living in poverty. Data published by The End Child Poverty coalition showed 8,728 children were living in poverty after housing costs in Crawley in 2017/18.

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