BORIS Johnson says he told predecessor David Cameron his spending cuts were wrong as he sought to mark himself out as a very different type of Tory leader last night.
The PM made the claim as he tried to distance himself from almost a decade of his party’s austerity policies.
Boris Johnson samples a pint of cider in Cornwall after pledging to pour billions of pounds into the NHS, schools and the police[/caption]
David Cameron slashed the size of the state by 5.4 per cent of GDP during his time as PM[/caption]
His assertion followed the unveiling of his election manifesto on Sunday, when he pledged to pour billions of pounds more into the NHS, schools and the police.
Mr Johnson said: “I remember having conversations with colleagues in the government that came in in 2010, saying I thought austerity was just not the right way forward for the UK.”
He referenced the post-World War Two Labour Chancellor who continued wartime rationing into the late 1940s by adding: “I’ve always thought: why use the language of Stafford Cripps?
“Didn’t he drink his own urine? Not an approach that’s commended itself to me.”
The Tories claim that they were forced into austerity in 2010 after Labour was ousted from power with the nation’s debts ballooning following the financial crisis.
Mr Johnson used an interview with The Spectator magazine to claim he was always dissatisfied with the belt-tightening approach.
Instead, he drew a stark contrast with his own expansionist plans for the next five years.
He and Chancellor Sajid Javid have agreed to let the state spend more and allow the annual deficit to start going up again — a policy he nicknames “boosterism”.
Despite the Tories having been in power for nine years, Mr Johnson wants voters to see his administration as a different beast.
He added: “I have great respect for my predecessors, it goes without saying, great respect, but this is a new government and we have a new agenda and it will be a different agenda.
“This is not a continuity government. This is a new government, we have a very different approach. If we can get in with a working majority, we will have a transformative agenda for the country.
“We also are going to be very different in our overall view on how to unleash the potential of this country.
“That’s what I want to see and I genuinely, genuinely want to see the talents of all this country. I do think there is an injustice at the moment that can be tackled and we have the means of doing it.”
The Tory leader also mounted a withering attack on the Treasury for abandoning some parts of the country in recent years because those areas generated little tax income.
He said: “The Treasury has basically looked at certain parts of the country and thought that they weren’t cash cows, from the point of view of delivering revenue.
“I take a different view. That this country is so underprovided for in brilliant infrastructure that you can make a good business case for many things.”
Chancellor Sajid Javid agreed with the PM to let the state spend more and allow the annual deficit to start going up again[/caption]
Boris revealed he puts jam before cream on a scone during a visit to Rodda’s Clotted Cream factory[/caption]
Expert analysis of the Tories’ manifesto this week revealed Mr Johnson was offering the second biggest splurge of any Tory Prime Minister since World War Two.
His pledge to spend billions more on the NHS, schools, police and transport will see him grow the Government’s pot by 1.1 per cent of the nation’s annual income.
The Resolution Foundation found only Harold Macmillan in the 1950s blew more on a massive nationwide house-building programme, expanding the state by 1.4 per cent of GDP.
Mr Johnson’s predecessor Theresa May reduced the Government by 1.1 per cent. And David Cameron, slashed the size of the state by 5.4 per cent.
The PM was in Cornwall yesterday where he revealed his preference for putting jam, and then clotted cream, on a scone — in line with Cornish tradition.
On visit to Rodda’s Cornish Clotted Cream factory near Redruth, he covered a scone in jam, saying he believed it to be more adhesive, before dolloping cream on top.
Mr Johnson was glad to avoid a diplomatic gaffe, saying: “My mind went a total blank as I was trying to explain which way round it went and I literally couldn’t remember, so I guessed. Gut instinct.”
He asked how the company coped with “the anti-obesity stuff”, saying: “Clotted cream, with the best will in the world, is not brilliant for your waistline.”
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Earlier, he visited Healey’s Cornish Cyder Farm, near Truro, where he sampled a pint.
It also emerged yesterday that Mr Johnson has not yet been pinned down for a half-hour grilling by the BBC’s Andrew Neil. Jo Swinson and Nigel Farage have agreed after Jeremy Corbyn was mauled over his anti-Semitism failures.
The PM will not join the BBC’s seven-way election debate tomorrow or the leaders’ debate focusing on the climate crisis on Channel 4.
A CAP FOR NET BETS
ONLINE gambling jackpots could be capped in a Tory bid to tackle addiction.
Health Secretary Matt Hancock has promised a review of drug, drink and gambling addiction.
The 2005 Gambling Act may then be updated to take account of unregulated online betting firms.
Websites would have to bring in prize and stake limits like bookies.
But some Tory MPs fear the move could impose crippling new regulations.
Mr Hancock said: “The prevalence of online gambling risks more people experiencing harm.”
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