SPF dinner

Balls: a Boris Johnson majority is ‘heroic assumption’

Ed Balls: ‘we are set for more division’ (pic: Terry Murden)

Former Treasury Secretary Ed Balls told a Scottish business audience to prepare for another year of “uncertainty, division and stagnation”.

Mr Balls said that forecasting a working Conservative majority in the General Election is a “heroic assumption” to make.

“Even if Boris Johnson gets it, whether he can get his deal through parliament is unclear,” he said.

Addressing the Scottish Property Federation annual dinner in Edinburgh, Mr Balls said: “If he doesn’t get that majority we are likely to see uncertainty, division and stagnation persist through next year.”

Describing former PM David Cameron’s decision to call a referendum on Europe as “unbelievably reckless”, he said he regretted the current climate of division north and south of the border and called for more consensus.

“We need a little more decency and more respect rather than the anger we are hearing at the moment. If we can see politicians as human beings and consensus as a good thing we will get a better society,” he said.

Five hundred guests attending the dinner at the EICC heard that property consultant Robin Blacklock has taken over as chairman of the Federation with Michaela Sullivan becoming his vice-chairman.

Mr Blacklock, managing director of Dowbrae Property Consultancy, said he is keen to emphasise the positive contribution the property industry is making towards building sustainable and inclusive growth. This will be the theme of the SPF conference in March. 

Robin Blacklock making his inaugural speech at the SPF dinner (pic: Terry Murden)

“I’m honoured to be taking up this leadership role as chair of the Scottish Property Federation for what I’m sure will be an interesting year,” he said after its annual dinner in Edinburgh.

Full story: New chairman and vice-chairman appointed

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