After a long drawn out battle with his own cabinet, Boris Johnson has resigned as prime minister. The news was met with an immediate comment from the president of the Country Landowners Association, Mark Tufnell who said: “The next leader of the Conservatives has an uphill battle to win back the trust of rural voters.Rural communities feel ignored, angry, and forgotten about. And for good reason.
“The rural economy is 18 per cent less productive than the national average, leading to a stagnant economy and limited aspiration. Boris Johnson had no plans to fix this chronic problem – the next Prime Minister must.
“Less than half of rural areas have adequate 4G coverage, let alone 5G. Rural homes remain even less affordable than those in urban areas, while rural jobs pay less.
“Despite all this, the rural economy was nowhere to be seen in the Levelling Up White Paper.
Robust and ambitious
“The next Prime Minister should have a robust and ambitious plan for the countryside, one that will create jobs and opportunities for everyone.
“This doesn’t require lots of public money, it simply requires a government that understands the potential rural businesses have to level up the country.
“CLA polling shows that the Tories and Labour are now neck and neck in rural areas, a 7.5 per cent swing since the 2019 general election.
“Otherwise, the Party risks losing the hearts and minds of 12 million rural voter