Boris Johnson accused of spouting ‘hot air’ in rambling speech about country’s future
Boris Johnson was accused of spouting hot air in a speech that ignored millions left jobless and sick by Covid.
The PM waffled about “getting back to normal” and promised more wind farms, but gave no hope to those facing a bleak future due to the devastating economic effect of the pandemic.
Labour’s Angela Rayner said of his Tory party conference address: “We got the usual bluster and no plan for the months ahead.”
Instead of revealing a plan to help those losing jobs, businesses and health due to the devastating impact of the pandemic, the PM gave a rambling speech that offered only vague promises and lacked any real detail for a post-Covid nation.
And Mr Johnson brushed over soaring infections while trying to deflect from the test and trace fiasco with blue-sky ideas.
He was accused of spouting “hot air” during his virtual Tory Conference address, where he rehashed old policies and U-turned on his criticism of wind farms by promising they would provide every home with energy within 10 years.
Deputy Labour leader Angela Rayner said: “People needed to hear the PM set out how he will get a grip of the crisis.
“Instead we got the usual bluster and no plan. We end this Conservative conference as we started it… with a shambolic testing system, millions of jobs at risk and an incompetent government that has lost control.”
The TSSA transport union branded the speech “hot air” which failed to address crisis-hit rail and air travel.
Mr Johnson, who once claimed wind power could not pull the skin of a rice pudding, is now praising it as the future.
But energy expert Andrew Smith, from UCL, warned the PM’s plan to get it into homes within a decade “would require logistical mobilisation of an order unprecedented in peacetime”.
The PM’s speech, usually one of the biggest of the year, promised sweeping social and economic changes similar to the “New Jerusalem” pledged by the Labour Cabinet in 1945 that rebuilt Britain from the ashes of the war.
But rather than giving Covid-weary Brits hope, he waffled about things “getting back to normal” – just weeks after he warned the new restrictions on pubs and restaurants’ opening times and socialising could last up to six months.
The PM said the pandemic would not prevent the Government from “levelling up” afterwards.
He added: “After all we have been through, it is not enough just to go back to before. We have lost too much, we have mourned too many.”
He revived a 2019 manifesto pledge to help first-time buyers get 95% mortgages – but gave almost no detail.
Mr Johnson promised one-to-one tuition for the brightest children, but No 10 could not say how the scheme would be funded.
He vowed to “fix the injustice” of care home funding despite promising to do just that a year ago.
The PM dismissed claims he had “lost his mojo” after catching coronavirus.
With embarrassing Trumpian bravado, he bragged: “I could refute critics of my athletic abilities in any way they want, arm-wrestle, leg-wrestle, Cumberland wrestle, sprint-off.”
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