In the absence of peer-reviewed, academically verifiable data, you can always rely on Nick Clegg to come out with a few ‘facts’ about the economy. This time, he’s claiming that the UK economy could be generating £41bn more per year, but for the London-centric business model that operates in the UK.
He says that London-focused business has allowed other large cities to ‘wither’, and that if they could somehow be regenerated, GDP could rise by another £41bn per year.
In a speech to City workers at the Mansion House later, Clegg will say: ‘It is in everyone’s interests – not least London’s itself – if that potential [of other cities] is now tapped. There can and must be more than one jewel in our crown.
‘The challenge for us is to rebuild our economy so that it runs on all cylinders.’ He will also claim that the focus on London is the result of decades of deliberate political choices.
He will add: ‘From the big bang, right until what was a monumental crash, the Labour and Conservative governments of the day were so bewitched by London’s financial services that they squandered other industries and allowed other communities to wither.’
But the deputy PM should remember that it's better to have one London-shaped jewel in the national crown than none at all...