The Tory minister is facing backlash over claims she has called Blackpool and Birmingham “divine”.

Heather Wheeler, MP for South Derbyshire, has since apologized, claiming the comments do not reflect her actual views.


A Tory minister has faced backlash after describing Blackpool and Birmingham as “divine”.

Heather Wheeler, a junior cabinet minister, was speaking at an event in London to unveil the Tories’ new digital strategy.

“I was at a conference in, I don’t know, Blackpool or Birmingham, in a terrible place,” she told the audience before giving her official speech.

Her comments come days after a scathing report by the Commons Public Accounts Committee said the government was jeopardizing taxpayers’ money to flatten policy, which is “little more than a slogan”.

Despite spending billions on a range of programs to boost local growth in recent years, the government “still has no precise understanding of what’s working,” the committee said.

Junior Cabinet Secretary Heather Wheeler

Lisa Nandy, Secretary of Shadow Leveling Up, said: “This comment shows the true colors of Conservatives.

“It’s no wonder the Tories fail so miserably to enhance our great cities and towns, if that’s what they really think.”

Ms Wheeler apologized and said: “While speaking at a conference on Thursday, I made an inappropriate remark that does not reflect my actual view.

“I apologize for the insult caused.”

Shadow Leveling Up secretary Lisa Nandy


(Getty Images)

Her comments were made hours after Boris Johnson delivered a key housing policy speech in Birmingham.

Mr Johnson said: “Blackpool is the second largest tourist destination outside of London in the UK,” Johnson said on Thursday during his visit.

“It’s huge, we think it has great potential.”

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