No 10 says Nightingale hospitals set up in response to COVID-19 show it need not “take years to get projects off the ground”.
The government is to launch a new taskforce it says will accelerate the delivery of major projects such as new schools, hospitals and roads.
The Infrastructure Delivery Taskforce, which Downing Street said would be known as “Project Speed”, is due to be announced by Boris Johnson in a speech next week.
The government said the group would be led by Chancellor Rishi Sunak and “will look across the full range of government’s public investment projects and cut delivery times by removing bottlenecks at every step of development and delivery”.
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A Downing Street spokesperson said the NHS Nightingale hospitals set up in response to the coronavirus pandemic showed that “it doesn’t have to take years to get essential projects off the ground”.
“As we recover from the pandemic we must apply that same urgency to the major projects at the foundations of this country and get them done right, to truly level up opportunity across the UK,” the spokesperson said.
“There’s now no excuse for delays. Infrastructure has the power to rebuild and repair our country – and we will do it better, faster and more strategically than before.”
A spokesman for Number 10 had previously insisted the Nightingale hospitals around the UK were “absolutely not” a waste of money, despite admitting they had not been used in a “significant way”.
The government said details of the taskforce’s membership would be “set out in due course”.
It added that the prime minister would also be implementing new cabinet committee structures next week “to better reflect his priorities and redouble efforts to drive progress”.
It came as new data showed the Conservative leader was being out-polled by Labour counterpart Sir Keir Starmer on who would make a better prime minister.
Polling company Opinium found that 37% of voters thought Sir Keir would be better at leading the country than Mr Johnson.
A total of 35% thought the Tory leader was the better option to have in charge.
While Sir Keir had been enjoying a higher approval rating than Mr Johnson for the past six weeks, it is the first time he has polled higher when asked about who would make the better PM.