Save a little love for London

One of the great joys about living in this country is that it is possible to jump into your people carrier, drive for less than an hour and arrive at a town where they have a different name for a sandwich.

Wednesday, 12th February 2020, 5:00 pm

Indeed the different regions love to bicker about whether the evening meal is dinner or tea (if it’s dinner in your house, you’re no friend of mine).

But it seems there is one thing which unites almost every part of Britain and that is our collective dislike of London.

A recent survey asked thousands of people from all corners of Britain what they thought of other regions and London came at the very bottom of the pile.

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While it is unclear exactly what those questioned had against our largest city, it wouldn’t take a genius to work it out. We often hear - usually from a badly dressed member of the Question Time audience - about the London-centric nature of Government and the national media.

The recent debate about whether the rising costs of the HS2 train line would render it pointlessly expensive highlighted the newly pointed north/south divide.

The very fact London-based journalists and politicians were asking these questions was seen by some opinion formers up north as a display of Metropolitan contempt. It is undeniable that there are large parts of our country which have been forgotten about for far too long and it remains to be seen whether the Government will repay its new supporters in the industrial heartlands with much-needed investment.

But, is this really London’s fault as it is, after all, a genuine world-class city, the beating heart of our economy and the main reason we consistently punch above our weight on the world stage.

As a proud northerner I am unusual in that I love London and still become excited by the place during my reasonably frequent visits.

London deserves the attention it receives and it is in every Briton’s interests that it remains the powerhouse it is.

As we continue the early footsteps in our post-Brexit journey, we need a strong London more than ever.