If Johnson is serious about ‘levelling up’, he needs to look at what Labour got right | Polly Toynbee
As the prime minister’s own adviser should be telling him, the extraordinary New Deal for Communities transformed lives
No one knows what “levelling up” is, but now Boris Johnson wants 10 more years to do it. A white paper on the grand strategy is promised but, in the meantime, take a good look at this week’s report from Onward – a centre-right thinktank co-founded by Neil O’Brien, the prime minister’s levelling-up adviser, heading a taskforce of 60 Tory MPs.
Here’s the surprise: examining 50 years of regeneration programmes, they found that a New Labour-era policy, the New Deal for Communities (NDCs), was the most successful. Its impact, they suggested, had been seriously underestimated, when it should be a model.