Prime Minister surprises visitors to Dudley museum
VISITORS are often amazed at the sights to see at Dudley’s Black Country Living Museum but they likely never imagined they’d see the Prime Minister in the attraction’s new pub or famous fish and chip chop.
Rishi Sunak had a whistlestop tour of the museum today (Friday March 24), much to the surprise of onlookers, as he stopped off in Dudley to launch the local election campaign for the borough’s Conservatives.
The PM said the party would fight for every vote as he chatted with journalists in the museum’s new Elephant & Castle pub after meeting with local election candidates, Dudley’s MPs and Mayor of the West Midlands Andy Street and checking out the popular Hobbs & Sons restaurant.
He talked about his desire to tackle the problem of knife crime and make the streets safer for communities particularly women and girls and said the Tories would be fielding an array of talented candidates in the local election on Thursday May 4.
He said: “Obviously, it’s always challenging for a party that’s been in power for a long time but were gonna fight really hard for every single seat everywhere, particularly in the West Midlands, and I think we’ve got a really positive story to tell.
"We’ve got an absolutely fantastic mayor in Andy Street, we’ve got dozens of terrific councillors and great MPs.
“And I think people hopefully can see that we are backing the West Midlands – backing it with more investment more police officers on the street, more jobs, more opportunities created, more transport infrastructure.
"The Metro’s being extended, train stations are being upgraded and crucially we’re investing in high streets and town centres. Something like 40 different high streets/town centres are across the West Midlands are sharing in about something like £450m of investment. That’s our commitment to the region.
"And at a local level what you get with a Conservative council is councils that keep your council tax as low as possible and deliver you fantastic services - that’s what our councillors do, that’s what our councils do, that’s what our mayor does.”
He spoke about wanting to improve transport in the region but handed over the question about whether he could promise the Metro would arrive in Brierley Hill over to Mayor Andy Street who said: “The Prime Minister will be putting his orange jacket on and we’re going to be looking at the construction and we wouldn’t be doing that if we weren’t very confident.”
He admitted the Metro extension has been talked about, possibly for the last 30 years, but he said the Dudley section will open next year and he added: “That’s what a Conservative government, a Conservative mayor and Conservative council have done.”
Dudley South Mike Wood said: "It was great to have the Prime Minister in Dudley to launch the local election campaign and to mark the extra £60million investment that the Government has announced to make sure the tram line can be completed to Brierley Hill.
"This is the perfect example of how Conservative Government, MPs, council and mayor working together are delivering investment in our area that we have waited so long for and many people said would never happen.
"The elections on May 4 will be a chance to make sure we continue to get further things done together to benefit our local communities."