Boris Johnson heckled by angry protesters during a visit to South Yorkshire

George Martin

Boris Johnson was confronted by a furious woman during a visit to Doncaster on Friday, just hours after he was heckled during a speech in Rotherham.

The Prime Minister was approached by the angry resident as he toured a market and quizzed about his government’s claims that “austerity is over”.

"People have died because of austerity,” the woman said.

“And you’ve got the cheek to come here and tell us austerity's over and it's all good now."

The Prime Minister struggled to answer the woman, before eventually insisting that he would be ploughing investment into the North.

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During a speech earlier in the day he was heckled over his decision to suspend Parliament.

The Prime Minister said: “I know the transformative potential of local accountable leadership, someone with the power to sort out what matters most to local people.”

Interrupting the broadcast being televised live, a man shouted: “Like our MPs, Boris?”

“Yes, indeed,” Mr Johnson replied.

The heckler continued: “Maybe get back to Parliament. Yeah? Why are you not with them in Parliament sorting out the mess that you have created? Why don’t you sort it out, Boris?”

Prime Minister Boris Johnson shakes hands with a member of the public during his visit Doncaster Market, in Doncaster.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson shakes hands with a member of the public during his visit Doncaster Market, in Doncaster.

Mr Johnson said: “I’m very happy to get back to Parliament very soon, but what we want to see in this region is towns and communities able to represent that gentlemen and sort out his needs.”

The Prime Minister is visiting South Yorkshire after northern politicians made a call for more help in their regions from his government.

In a joint article in The Times, Greater Manchester mayor Andy Burnham and Liverpool city region mayor Steve Rotheram said: “To get this country working again, there is an urgent need to take power out of Westminster and give it to our great cities and regions.


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“We need to build a new, healthier politics that unifies people around place and positive change and delivers practical change for citizens.”

They identified five “priority areas” for the Government, including the termination of the Northern Rail franchise with more local control of rail services, London-style subsidies for northern bus services, central funding to help people affected by clean air zones to switch vehicles, action on homelessness and more devolved powers putting more money under their control.

The two mayors both also support two major projects to improve transport in the regions, HS2 and Northern Powerhouse Rail, but called for more money and powers to be devolved from Whitehall to the regions.

A heckler is ejected as Britain's Prime Minister Boris Johnson makes a speech at the Convention of the North at the Magna Centre in Rotherham, England, Friday, Sept. 13, 2019. Johnson will meet with European Commission president Jean-Claude Juncker for Brexit talks Monday in Luxembourg. The Brexit negotiations have produced few signs of progress as the Oct. 31 deadline for Britain’s departure from the European Union bloc nears. (Christopher Furlong/Pool photo via AP)
A heckler is ejected as Britain's Prime Minister Boris Johnson makes a speech at the Convention of the North. (AP)

In his speech on Friday Mr Johnson said: “It is time that we gave more people a say over the places where they live, and it is time that we gave you the proper ability to run things your way.

“We are going to maximise the power of the North. And we are going to make sure that it is people here who are in control over the things that matter to them.”

During a trip to Doncaster market earlier on Friday, the Prime Minister told one trader “we’re going to get a deal”, adding: “That’s the plan, anyway. And if we don’t, we’re coming out on October 31. That’s what we’re going to do. Here we go, that’s democracy.”

He showed no reaction as one man told him: “Find a deal here – this is Doncaster, not Europe.”

As he walked around stalls inside the market’s indoor Corn Exchange, the Prime Minister stopped to speak with one fish seller.

With Northern Powerhouse minister Jake Berry watching on, Mr Johnson was heard remarking: “Look at that… lobster claws. We’ve got to take a few claws out of that Withdrawal Agreement.”