Tory MP said voters disappointed by Boris’s Doncaster no show

Boris Johnson’s failure to attend a key conference in Doncaster “disappointed” those who attended, a Tory MP has admitted.

Sunday, 19th June 2022, 1:46 pm
Updated Sunday, 19th June 2022, 1:46 pm

Reports have claimed the Prime Minister’s decision to travel to meet President Volodymyr Zelensky In Ukraine instead could backfire.

Commenting on the row, Ms Dehenna Davison, told GB News: "I turned up to the conference, to do my panel and then had constituency stuff all afternoon, so I wasn't even aware the Prime Minister was going to be attending so maybe that was me being massively out of the loop.

“Some of the organisers were, of course, disappointed because getting the Prime Minister at your conferences is a really big deal, a really big opportunity for him to speak to members, speak to activists and to some of the Members of Parliament who were there as well.”

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Tory MP Dehenna Davison on GB News

Asked by presenter Stephen Dixon if he would have faced questions about the so-called Red Wall, she said: “I think there would have been tough questions definitely.

“But there always are at these conferences, you know, whether things go incredibly well or incredibly badly.

“The leader of the party always gets some very challenging questions from from kind of party members and activists but I mean I do think it's important that we don't lose sight of what really happened here which is the Prime Minister showing his support to Ukraine, and it is something that is one of the biggest kind of international crises that we've seen in Europe in generations.

“I think it's right that he's showing that leadership and certainly president Zelensky seems very happy to see him.”

However Ms Davison said Labour leader Keir Starmer was wrong to accuse the Government of hoarding power and failing with its levelling up agenda.

In an interview with GB News, Ms Davison also said Prime Minister Boris Johnson was pushing levelling up whilst also trying to deal with the “biggest international crisis in generations” in terms of the Ukraine war.

She said: “It's in Labour's interests to say that it's failing because of course they want to come into power, so forgive me for being cynical, but clearly there is some party politics at play there.

“But on this point about holding power, I mean, I simply do not see it.

"We've seen devolution all over the country in places like Teesside in Greater Manchester, with people like Ben Houchin, people like Andy Burnham, Andy Street, getting vast swathes of additional powers in order to bring prosperity to their regions.

“On Teeside, we're seeing it in absolute spades and then in County Durham, the part of the world that I'm very proud to represent, and we're currently in talks about our devolution deal bringing greater powers over things like transport, greater powers over economic development.

“I’m not quite sure how that weighs up with the fact that power is being hoarded in Westminster when quite the opposite is actually happening.”

Ms Davison was speaking during an interview on Breakfast with Stephen and Anne on GB News.

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Asked if “levelling up” was much more than a catchphrase, she said: “I think for me, it means something very simple and that is if you're a kid growing up in Birkenhead, or Bath, or Basingstoke, or Bishop Auckland, you have the same opportunities to get on in life.

“And that means having a decent education, access to good healthcare. It means having good transport networks to get you to jobs, making sure there are good quality jobs available.

“But we know that that hasn't been the case and that some areas have been left behind, so levelling is a huge mission

“It is not just economic though, we tend to talk about the economic impacts and and job growth etc, it's about education, healthcare, good quality areas, access to leisure facilities and culture facilities and all of it is a huge mission.”

Asked about people who say that Mr Johnson is putting Ukrainians ahead of Britons, she said: “Yeah, and I have some sympathy with that view.

“But at the end of the day, ending the war in Ukraine, getting some kind of peace, negotiation and settlement that will be beneficial to the entirety of Europe because, as we know, the cost of living crisis then greatly exacerbated by what's going on in Ukraine, the price of oil, the price of wheat, etc, all going up.

“It is in all our interests to have our international leaders working on ending this crisis.

“It'll be obviously very much beneficial for the people of Ukraine, but very much beneficial for all of us across Europe too.”

In these confusing and worrying times, local journalism is more vital than ever. Thanks to everyone who helps us ask the questions that matter by taking out a subscription or buying a paper. We stand together. Nancy Fielder, editor.