"bids like Burnley market, world-famous Burnley market"
Chancellor Rishi Sunak was subjected to trolling after mixing up the names of two towns during a television interview.
On October 28, 2021, Mr Sunak made a surprise visit to Bury, Greater Manchester as part of the promotions for the levelling up spending in his Budget.
But while visiting Bury Market, he appeared to mix up Bury with the Lancashire town of Burnley, which is more than 20 miles away.
The error came after BBC Breakfast presenter Ben Thompson told Mr Sunak that he originated from Burnley.
When answering a question about the Government’s so-called levelling-up agenda, Mr Sunak said:
“It is not just about being in the North, by the way, we’re here in Burnley but if you are growing up in a village in the South West or even on the South Coast, people want to feel opportunity is there for them, wherever they happen to be.
“I put it down to two things.
“One is having pride in the place you call home and a lot of what we announced yesterday, the levelling-up fund – bids like Burnley market, world-famous Burnley market, benefiting from £20million of investment.
“That’s going to create jobs. It is about improving the everyday infrastructure of our communities.”
However, social media users were less than impressed with Rishi Sunak’s mistake.
One person said: “All poor areas look the same to people like Sunak and Johnson.
“Just full of people they would rather not have to associate with.”
Another commented: “Nothing says ‘This is nothing but a cynical PR stunt for my own career ambitions’ than not even bothering to know the name of the place you are visiting.”
A third wrote:
“Rishi Sunak is a working-class chum, with a billionaire father-in-law.”
One comment read: “Has no idea about the North whatsoever. And this is a guy with a Northern constituency.”
The Labour Party also took the opportunity to troll Mr Sunak.
Hi @RishiSunak ? think you forgot which part of the North you’ve been sent to today.
Don't worry, we've made it easier for you. ?pic.twitter.com/bLuDsWG0sP
— The Labour Party (@UKLabour) October 28, 2021
Greater Manchester Mayor Andy Burnham said it was “nice to know he’s very familiar with the north” and stated that Mr Sunak “probably needs to spend a bit more time here”.
The mayor then made a joke reference to “the famous Burnley black pudding”, in a nod to Bury’s well-known speciality.
The Labour leader of Bury Council, Eamonn O’Brien, said:
“We can forgive a slip-up but I’m being very generous here because they have backed our plans.
“What I would like to see, however, is the chancellor, if he’s serious about levelling up, you can’t just do it with one-off projects.
“You can’t just throw money at a one-off thing.”
He added that the chancellor needed to “sort out local government finance and give council services the money that they need”.
A Treasury spokesman said Mr Sunak “very much enjoyed his visit to Bury Market” and “enjoyed the opportunity to talk about levelling up”.