Chancellor Sajid Javid pledges 'decade of renewal' during visit to Wolverhampton

The West Midlands can look forward to a "decade of renewal" if the Conservatives win the election, Chancellor Sajid Javid declared during a visit to Wolverhampton.

Mr Javid insisted the Tories were keen to shake off the tag of being the party of austerity but said he would continue to protect the economy.

The Chancellor said Boris Johnson's Government had already begun to increase spending for councils and other public services but did not give a direct answer when asked if the party would now loosen the purse strings should it win the December election.

Mr Javid visited Tettenhall to support Tory candidate Stuart Anderson for the crucial marginal Wolverhampton South West seat, and was shown the proposed site of a new Tettenhall train station.

Asked about whether he intended to move on from austerity and increase spending, he told the Express & Star: "The economy is in great shape today and that's because back in 2010 we had to make some tough decisions because the Labour Party, like every Labour Government, had left a massive economic mess.

"We have cleared up that mess, the British people have worked incredibly hard to clear up that mess and we can look forward to a decade of renewal after all the recovery.

"But to do that we've got to keep the economy strong and that's what the Conservatives will do.

"Let's be very clear, every Labour Government in history has crashed the economy and with McDonnell and Corbyn, whereas other Labour Governments have taken years they'll do it in months."

Councils in the region have been hit hard by budget cuts this decade but the Chancellor said the Government had started to increase funding.

"We've already started increasing funding to local councils. Just in the spending review a few months ago we gave a huge increase to social care, more funding for schools but again to maintain that we've got to keep the economy strong," he said.

The two main parties are as far apart as they have been ideologically for a generation and Mr Javid said voters would have a clear choice.

"It's a very stark choice but the arguments are actually quite simple. You will choose Labour if you want chaos over the next few years, if you want to have two more referendums in 2020, one on Europe and one on Scotland, if you want your economy to crash.

"If you want to get Brexit done, focus on people's priorities, keep the economy strong then choose Conservatives."

Labour's plan to nationalise part of BT and provide free broadband for all was dismissed by the Chancellor.

He said: "It's a complete utter fantasy. First of all, we all pay for broadband and we can compete and choose. If you had Labour's plan, first of all you'd still pay for it you'd just pay for it through your taxes, you'll get no choice and you'll end up with the worst broadband service in western Europe, so it's just Labour fantasy."

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