Tory MP admits the Red Wall could fall to Labour: 'We won't be able to use Covid as an excuse'

31 Marco Longhi on Red Wall
Jamie  Micklethwaite

By Jamie Micklethwaite

Published: 31/03/2022

- 19:34

Updated: 31/03/2022

- 20:54

Marco Longhi called for the government to make changes to power up the North

A Conservative MP has admitted on GB News that the Red Wall could fall unless changes are made.

Marco Longhi MP for Dudley North, appeared on Talking Pints with Nigel Farage where he discussed powering up the north.

When asked by Mr Farage if the Red Wall could fall, Mr Longhi gave a candid answer.

He told us: "I have been talking about this danger since the day I was elected.

"I am pleased since the recent shake-up at Number 10 they are more receptive, there are different people in place, and I really hope, for all of our sakes, that those changes are going to be acted upon.

GB News

"We won't be able to use Covid as an excuse. It did paralyse us for two years, and I hope voters will recognise the huge effort and the personal effort in particular by the Prime Minister to save the country."

Mr Longhi's admission comes after a poll found people are more likely to trust the Labour Party to manage public finances.

The survey, carried out by Ipsos following the spring statement on March 23, found 41% of people trusted Labour to manage taxes and public spending compared to 35% who trusted the Conservatives.

This represents an improvement for the opposition party since before the spring statement, when another Ipsos poll found Labour was virtually level with the Tories on taxes and spending.

The public were also more likely to trust Labour to reduce the cost of living by a margin of 15 points and were increasingly using news about rising inflation rates to judge the UK’s economic performance more generally.

GB News

Ipsos director of politics Keiran Pedley said: “These numbers clearly show the political risk facing the Conservatives concerning the rising cost of living.

“The public are following stories about it closely and are increasingly judging the performance of the economy overall with the cost of living directly.

“This matters because they are also more inclined to trust Labour to reduce the cost of living than the Conservatives.”

The poll also brought bad news for the Chancellor personally. A third of people said they thought he was doing a bad job, up from a quarter of people before the spring statement, and 42% of people said he had changed the UK’s economy for the worse.

On the statement itself, the poll found that people regarded it as good for big businesses and people with higher incomes, but bad for virtually everyone else.

In particular, 51% of people said the statement was a “bad thing” for people on low incomes and 46% thought it would be bad for pensioners.

But while more than two-thirds of people thought the economy was performing badly, the Government has not taken all of the blame for the cost-of-living crisis.

People were much more likely to say the Covid-19 pandemic, the state of the global economy and the war in Ukraine were contributing either a great deal or a fair amount to the rising cost of living, with each of those three factors mentioned by around three-quarters of respondents.

Conversely, 64% of people said Conservative policies were contributing to the rising cost of living, the same proportion that blamed Brexit, while 50% of people thought policies to reduce the UK’s carbon emissions were responsible for rising inflation.

Mr Pedley said: “Whilst the public clearly do not blame the Government alone for the rising cost of living, there are some signs of concern at how its most recent response – the spring statement – will impact certain potentially vulnerable groups.

“If this sense of pessimism persists, the Conservatives may be in for a difficult time politically in the future.”

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