Sajid Javid has been mocked for describing the North of England as “north England”.
The phrase was trending on Twitter after the Chancellor shared a photo of himself, Dominic Raab and Liz Truss on their way to Sunderland for a Cabinet meeting on Brexit.
— Sajid Javid (@sajidjavid) January 31, 2020
“On way to Cabinet meeting in north England with friends @DominicRaab @trussliz,” tweeted Mr Javid.
The phrasing was deemed strange by thousands on the social media site, including Mr Javid’s political opponents.
Just so you know, nobody in ‘north England’ calls it ‘north England’…. happy to help. https://t.co/jeqrTdx5au
— Tim Farron (@timfarron) January 31, 2020
“Just so you know, nobody in ‘north England’ calls it ‘north England’…. happy to help,” tweeted former Liberal Democrat leader Tim Farron, MP for Westmorland and Lonsdale.
Alison McGovern, the Labour MP for Wirral South, tweeted: “‘north England’? It’s not a flipping Disney film, and you’re not our hero.”
'north England'?It's not a flipping Disney film, and you're not our hero https://t.co/PtzVOezUqL
— Alison McGovern (@Alison_McGovern) January 31, 2020
Football commentator Clive Tyldesley also thought the term had fantastical undertones, tweeting: “Meetings with Jon Snow planned about The Wall and creation of Winterfell powerhouse.”
Another, anonymous author The Secret Barrister, responded: “Eee lad, we’re off to that there North England.”
“Eee lad, we’re off to that there North England” https://t.co/fvAcGSWkZE
— The Secret Barrister (@BarristerSecret) January 31, 2020
Mr Javid was born in Rochdale, Lancashire, in north-west England before his family later moved to Bristol in the south west.
Cabinet members met at the National Glass Centre for the meeting, in which Boris Johnson told the 34 members a “new chapter in the United Kingdom’s story” would start after 11pm on Friday – the moment Britain will leave the European Union.
Mr Johnson was heckled as he arrived at the venue in Sunderland, where he also met local business leaders.
Journalism student Owen Valente, 20, filmed the moment Mr Johnson arrived and told the PA news agency he was met with chants of “Boris you’re not welcome here” and “Tory cuts not welcome here”.
— SRNews (@SRNewsNow) January 31, 2020
Niamh Marron, 21, added: “They were there for around an hour before Boris arrived and did not stop shouting until he had fully entered the building.”
In the students’ video, which they shared to Twitter, Mr Johnson waved to the jeering crowd as he approached the building – a gesture which was met with laughter from those filming the moment.