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The Prime Minister’s plans involve the largest spending on infrastructure in 70 years. He has told Oliver Dowden – the Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport – to ensure clubs receive the financial help they need from the Premier League.
According to The Sun, Mr Johnson told around 60 Northern Tory MPs on Zoom that he had asked Mr Dowden to “get it sorted”.
He said: “I pledge that when we come out of lockdown on December 2 we will work to have the crowds to come back.
“Don’t run away with it but we need to do much better and bring the fans back.”
Mr Dowden will be holding crunch meetings with football chiefs to reach an agreement to save football clubs.
Mr Johnson praised the new Blue Wall MPs – known as the Northern Research Group – he was addressing, labelling them his “praetorian guard” and “steer for the government”.
He said the Conservatives “15 more seats in the north at the general election”, and added that “you are the tip of the spear”.
Speaking during the virtual conference he vowed to get the backbenchers “the largest financial commitment to infrastructure in 70 years”.
He added that “devolution has been a disaster north of the border” and it was “Tony Blair’s biggest mistake”.
Some MPs welcomed the Prime Minister’s address, with one Tory Blue Waller telling The Sun that “Bojo has got back his mojo.”
Mr Johnson’s spending plan comes as Professor Susan Michie, a member of the Government’s Scientific Advisory Group for Emergencies (Sage), called on the public to avoid flouting the lockdown restrictions and avoid feeling “complacent”.
She also warned against feeling complacent about the rules due to the announcement of potential coronavirus vaccines.
She said the development will make “no different” to the current health crisis.
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Prof Michie was asked during an appearance on BBC Radio 4’s Today programme what other measures could be taken once the lockdown ends.
She said: “It’s too early to know. I think the next two weeks is going to be absolutely crucial.
“They’re going to be a very challenging two weeks, partly because of the weather, partly because, I think, the promise of a vaccine may be making people feel complacent.
“But the vaccine is very unlikely to come in until the end of the year or beginning of next year and that’s going to make no difference to the current second wave.
“So I think for the next two weeks, everybody has to really get all their resolve together.”
She asked that people “really pay attention to resisting any urges to break the rules” and visiting other households.
She added: “Because that will maximise the chance that in two weeks’ time, on December 2, we’re in a position where actually we don’t have to continue the lockdown.
“And better still, what everybody wants, is to be in a position where they can spend the Christmas and winter holiday times with loved ones.”
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