Analysis: Boris Johnson's keynote speech was light on policy and full of bombast

6 October 2021, 15:20

Boris Johnson addressed members of the Conservative Party in Manchester.
Boris Johnson addressed members of the Conservative Party in Manchester. Picture: Alamy
Theo Usherwood

By Theo Usherwood

This speech from Boris Johnson had lots of rhetoric. And listening to it, you could be in no doubt about the direction he wanted to take the country.

But where we had the flair and bombast from the Prime Minister, we lacked any significant policy announcements. The only real substance in the speech was a promise to pay maths and science teachers up to £3,000 extra to work in disadvantaged schools deemed in need of levelling up.

The levelling-up premium, as the Prime Minister called it, will cost the Treasury up to £60 million but in terms of new money that was it.

Read more: Boris Johnson: I will tackle 'underlying problems' when no other Govt had the 'guts' to

Read more: 'They belong in jail': Boris Johnson backs targeting eco-protesters

PM sets out difference between Labour and Tories

Boris Johnson has always been held in high-esteem by Tory Party members but speaking to many of them during the course of this conference it was noticeable that whilst Number 10 can feel pleased that the four-days passed off without major incident, there are mutterings that not everybody is happy.

In the queue for his speech, which started forming before 7am, there were the diehard fans. But I also spoke to the doctor who thought more funding could be found to support the NHS, or the councillor who thought the Government had fallen short in its response to the Sarah Everard murder.

Read more: 'They belong in jail': Boris Johnson backs targeting eco-protesters

Read more: Dominic Raab denies £20 UC cut will force families into stark 'heat or eat' choice

PM pledges to boost health and social care

And then what of the libertarian wing of the party, who would like Boris Johnson to govern as a traditional Conservative Prime Minister. The PM indicated he wanted to cut taxes in the future but there was no promise, whilst one economist I chatted to this morning raised his eyes to the sky in frustration when I asked whether we would end up in a position where the Government could cut taxes in the short to mid-term future.

In short, Boris Johnson will be driven back down to London happy at the way this conference went. But on the dashboard a warning light is flashing, much like for the rest of the country.

More Latest News

See more More Latest News

Breaking
Just Stop Oil protesters have targeted planes at a private airfield in Stansted - where Taylor Swift's jets are believed to have landed just hours before.

Just Stop Oil protesters target jets at private airfield just hours after Taylor Swift’s arrival at site

Live
Labour Party leader Sir Keir Starmer (centre), meets staff during a visit to Morrisons in Wiltshire

General Election LIVE: Poll shows Starmer on top after LBC phone-ins as calls for election betting enquiry ramp up after alleged offences

Exclusive
Watch in full: LBC's exclusive phone-in interviews with Sir Keir Starmer and Rishi Sunak

Watch in full: LBC's exclusive phone-in interviews with Sir Keir Starmer and Rishi Sunak

Here's everything we know about missing teenager Jay Slater.

Everything we know about missing British teenager Jay Slater who vanished on holiday in Tenerife

William appeared at Ascot

Prince William shares tender moment with Kate's mother as she suffers mishap at Ascot

Jay Slater's family have warned people about donating to fake pages

'I just want my baby back': Mother of missing Brit Jay Slater, 19, issues plea after 'false sighting' delays search

Keir Starmer came out on top after LBC’s two exclusive phone-ins

Keir Starmer comes out on top after LBC phone-ins – as Rishi Sunak seen as ‘overwhelmingly negative’

OceanGate co-founder Guillermo Söhnlein is pictured with CEO Stockton Rush, who died on the Titan sub

Oceangate co-founder claims he can 'safely' send 1,000 people to Venus

Labour must ditch 'phoney fiscal rules' and borrow to invest in public services, says boss of UK's largest trade union

Labour must ditch 'phoney fiscal rules' and borrow to invest in public services, says boss of UK's largest trade union

Theo Paphitis speaks to LBC.

'They've lost the plot': Ex-Tory donor and Dragons' Den star Theo Paphitis reveals why he's switched support to Labour

Exclusive
Sir David Ormand has criticised the Conservatives for suggesting Keir Starmer is a security risk

Former spy boss criticises 'disreputable' Tory suggestion that Putin and Xi would welcome Starmer as Prime Minister

Justin Timberlake was arrested on Tuesday

'We'll have a lot to say': Justin Timberlake's lawyer vows to 'vigorously defend' singer after DWI arrest

Britain's Prime Minister Rishi Sunak on Wednesday

Rishi Sunak set 'to become first PM to lose seat' in election wipeout with Conservatives down to just 53 MPs, poll finds

Starmer and Neville

Keir Starmer tells Gary Neville he needs to win British people's trust, as he warns turning UK around will take 10 years

Prime Minister Rishi Sunak arrives for a visit to Great Wood Farm Early Years Centre, Grantham in East Midlands, June 17

Sunak close protection officer arrested over alleged election date bets

Allen Morgan, 73, said he was locked in a "passionate but forbidden" affair with his now wife Margaret, 75, when he hired a hitman to kill his then-partner Carol

Pensioner found guilty of conspiring to murder wife after hiring hitman amid 'passionate but forbidden' affair