Tories to set up new headquarters in Leeds after 'blue wall' election success

The Conservative Party are opening a second HQ in Leeds, with the aim of being ‘at the heart’ of the former Labour heartlands decimated in the 2019 general election.

More than 40 seats across the North of England, the Midlands and parts of Wales were taken by the Tories from the so-called ‘red wall’ in December, winning some constituencies for the very first time.

In a bid to secure the new ‘blue wall’ which saw the Conservatives achieving a landslide victory, party co-chair Amanda Milling was set to announce today that staff will be moved to Leeds.

Opening the Tories’ virtual conference, she is expected to say: ‘We are determined to show our commitment to the blue wall seats.

‘That’s why I am thrilled to announce that CCHQ (Conservative Campaign HQ) will be opening a headquarters in Leeds.

‘This new headquarters will provide the party with a base at the heart of the blue wall because we’re in it for the long haul.

‘We’re determined to make the blue wall part of the fabric of our party and our country. The best way we can deliver for people there is to be there.’

The party said it was aiming to have the headquarters open next year. Its current base is in Matthew Parker Street, located close to Westminster.

Ms Milling was set to add: ‘Leeds is a key part of our plan to build back better for the people of this country and building a campaign presence there reinforces our commitment to that task.’

The announcement comes as Boris Johnson said he wants to create a ‘Generation Buy’, where young people are helped to purchase homes with mortgages requiring low deposits.

The Prime Minister will give his conference speech on Tuesday and, in an interview with the Telegraph, he signalled his intent to refocus his efforts on his manifesto pledge to ‘level-up’ across the country.

Johnson said he believed a ‘huge’ number of people felt excluded from home ownership in the UK.

But he said his Government would ‘fix’ the issue by helping people get on to the property market with low-deposit mortgages.

He added: ‘I think a huge, huge number of people feel totally excluded from capitalism, from the idea of home ownership, which is so vital for our society.

‘And we’re going to fix that – “Generation Buy” is what we’re going for.’

Johnson said mortgages that help people get on to the housing ladder were needed, ‘even if they only have a very small amount to pay by way of deposit, the 95% mortgages’.

He said that low-deposit mortgages could be ‘absolutely revolutionary’ for young people.

The Telegraph reported that Johnson had asked ministers to work on plans encouraging long-term fixed-rate mortgages with 5% deposits.

It comes as more than 1,000 low-deposit mortgage deals have vanished from the market in the past six months, according to findings by last month.

By early September, there were just 76 deals for borrowers with deposits of 10% or less, while in March there were 1,184 mortgages at 90%, 95% or 100 loan-to-value (LTV) available – meaning a fall of 1,108 deals.

Foreign Secretary Dominic Raab is due to give his speech to the Tory conference on this, with other Cabinet ministers taking part in interviews and panel events throughout the four-day event.

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