Andrew talks to Professor Tony Travers, LSE, on the surprising general election results.
In this month’s post-election special, Andrew reflects on the surprising results with Tony Travers, Director at LSE, considering the changing loyalties of the electorate, what a hung parliament will mean for the new mayors and whether we will start to see a cross-party approach to Brexit.
They also discuss how the electorate has strayed from traditional party loyalties, voting instead to rage against the machine, or as a tool to deliver a message on Brexit or austerity.
The outcome of the General Election leaves Westminster considerably weaker than before. With the DUP set to seal a deal with the government and the Scottish Conservatives winning 13 seats, Northern Ireland and Scotland are in a strong position to make demands, likely to be at the expense of massive progress made in cities over the last two parliaments. But they discuss how the new mayors are in a unique position to drive the country forward and negotiate for their respective cities.
Finally, with austerity now in its eighth year with no sign of an end, they ask whether funding and financing could be handed down to a city level giving councils the freedom to set taxes locally.
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An impressive, deeply informed and fascinating discussion. Two areas that are worthy of further development: firstly, the case for sub-regional devolution within London (e.g. the population of the Local London grouping of 8 east end boroughs matches or exceeds the population of Core City regions); and, secondly, it is not acceptable to present devolution to Scotland as somehow equivalent to devolution to city regions in England. The equivalent of devolution to city regions in England is devolution to Scottish city regions. Transferring powers between an overbearing Whitehall and a centralising, nation-building Holyrood does not advance the cities agenda in Scotland.