Mayor of London Boris Johnson said that ‘what’s good for north Northumberland is good for the capital and vice versa’ as he visited the area this afternoon.
During a brief trip to the Berwick constituency, the Tory personality offered his support to the campaign to dual the A1 and, inevitably, Conservative candidate Anne-Marie Trevelyan. Besides the single-carriageway A1 at Causey Park, he signed a banner to pledge his support to the dualling campaign.
Speaking to the Gazette, he said: “I would just remind you that I live on the A1, admittedly at the other end, and I want to see a brilliant connecction between London and the rest of the country. This is a vital arterial route all the way up the east coast of our country and it seems to me quite odd that you bowl along at a great lick and suddenly you come to this bottleneck where it needs to be improved.”
He referred to the £290million already pledged to the upgrade and improvements in Northumberland and added: “No doubt if she (Anne-Marie Trevelyan) was in Parliament, she would get a lot more.”
Asked if he would rather see that money spent inside the M25, he said: “Absolutely not. It’s win-win; what’s good for London is good for Berwick-upon-Tweed and vice versa. The better Berwick does, the better London does.”
With debates ongoing about the merits of devolution to English regions, Mr Johnson said that the people of the North East would have to decide for themselves if they wanted a mayor. “It works for us in London. It can deliver a system that galvanises local politics and gets people motivated to deliver improvements. But I would say, ‘Up to you guys’. You would have to work out where the seat of power of the Mayor of the North East would be.”
It’s win-win; what’s good for London is good for Berwick-upon-Tweed and vice versa. The better Berwick does, the better London does.Boris Johnson, Mayor of London
He also admitted that his appearance was about supporting Anne-Marie Treveylan ahead of May’s General Election, saying: “I think there’s a huge opportunity here. Nick Clegg’s Conservatives are in a bit of a shambles at the moment, it’s not quite clear what they stand for anymore. This should be an area where a candidate as good as Anne-Marie could do very well.”