Labour will scrap Brexit next, claims Boris Johnson after ‘levelling up’ phrase ditched

Focused: Labour's Angela Rayner has promised no more policy 'gimmicks'
Labour's Angela Rayner has promised 'no more gimmicks' - TAYFUN SALCI/COVER IMAGES

Labour will scrap Brexit next, Boris Johnson has claimed after the party announced that it was ditching the phrase “levelling up”.

The Department for Levelling Up, Housing and Communities was given that name by Boris Johnson in 2021 as the then prime minister sought to highlight his commitment to the levelling up agenda.

Angela Rayner, the Deputy Prime Minister, has decreed that her department should drop the words “levelling up” from its title and revert to its previous identity as the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government.

Responding to the move, Mr Johnson wrote on X, formerly Twitter:

Ms Rayner, the Secretary of State in charge of the department, said on Tuesday: “A Government of public service means fixing the fundamentals to deliver for the British people. No more gimmicks and slogans, but the hard yards of governing in the national interest.”

Jim McMahon, a minister in the department, told the BBC the old name had been “firmly Tippexed out of the department” as part of an effort to “refocus” on local government.

He added: “Why that is important for me is ‘levelling up’ was only ever a slogan. It wasn’t a thing that people felt in their communities.”

Before the election, Labour figures had suggested that the party would ditch the “levelling up” title if it won power, with Ms Rayner telling the Financial Times she was focused on “fundamentals, not a slogan”.