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Boris Johnson has been criticised by a veteran Tory MP for trying to emulate “high spending leftie” Franklin D Roosevelt (FDR) rather than “good conservatives” like Margaret Thatcher.
The prime minister last week launched the government’s plan to help the economy recover from coronavirus by outlining £5bn of infrastructure spending.
In pre-briefed lines, Johnson described his plan as a “Rooseveltian” new deal, a reference to the massive spending plan the former US president used to help America recover from the Great Depression in the 1930s.
But the government’s outlay of hundreds of billions of pounds during the Covid-19 crisis has worried traditional Tory MPs, including Sir Edward Leigh, who said he was still waiting for tax cuts first floated by George Osborne before he became chancellor in 2010.
After becoming PM last year, Johnson ditched a Tory leadership race promise for a £9bn income tax cut for middle class higher earners to the dismay of some of his own MPs.
As chancellor Rishi Sunak prepares to deliver his summer economic update on Wednesday, which is expected to outline further spending, Leigh fired a warning shot from the backbenches.
Before the 2010 election we promised to help middle-class families pass their houses on to the next generation.— Sir Edward Leigh MP (@EdwardLeighMP) July 7, 2020
We want more Reagan and Thatcher and less FDR! pic.twitter.com/qUODVlOIGG
At Treasury questions, he said: “When are we going to fulfil numerous promises made as long ago by George Osborne before the 2010 election to help middle class people pass on more of their profit to the young?
“After all that’s a priority, for the young.
“And while we’re about it can we hear from the chancellor and from the prime minister less about high spending lefties like president Roosevelt and more from good conservatives like Ronald Reagan...