"I managed to start changing the funding formulas, to make sure areas that like this are getting the funding that they deserve because we inherited a bunch of formulas from Labour that shoved all the funding into deprived urban areas and that needed to be undone.
"I started the work of undoing that."
\u201cEXCLUSIVE: In a leaked video, Rishi Sunak boasted to Conservative Party members that he was prepared to take public money out of \u201cdeprived urban areas\u201d to help wealthy towns.\n\n@REWearmouth reports: https://t.co/uZMpjKm6rG\u201d
— The New Statesman (@The New Statesman)
Tunbridge Wells, in Kent, has a Conservative majority of 14,645 and has been held by the party since its creation in 1974. In 2020 it was ranked Kent's least deprived county, according to the government's own figures from the Multiple Deprivation Index
Reacting to the footage, Labour's shadow levelling up secretary Lisa Nandy said: "This is scandalous. Rishi Sunak is openly boasting that he fixed the rules to funnel taxpayers' money to rich Tory shires.
"This is our money. It should be spent fairly and where it's most needed - not used as a bribe to Tory members.
"Talk about showing your true colours..."
Meanwhile, Labour MP Stella Creasy said:
\u201cChild poverty in the "deprived urban area" I represent is twice as high as in the area Rishi Sunak is boasting he's channelling funds to for votes in the Tory Party Leadership contest. \n\nWhen people reveal their true selves and principles to you, believe them.\u201d
And even Tories thought it was out of order. Foreign Office minister Lord Zac Goldsmith said: “This is one of the weirdest – and dumbest – things I’ve ever heard from a politician.”
And Tory MP Jake Berry said:
\u201cIn public @RishiSunak claims he wants to level up the North, but here, he boasts about trying to funnel vital investment away from deprived areas?\n\nHe says one thing and does another \u2013 from putting up taxes to trying to block funding for our armed forces and now levelling up\u2026\u201d
“Levelling up isn’t just about city centres, it’s also about towns and rural areas all over the country that need help too. That’s what he changed in the green book and he will follow though as prime minister,” a spokesperson told indy100.
“Travelling around the country, he’s seen non-metropolitan areas that need better bus services, faster broadband or high quality schools. That’s what he’ll deliver as prime minister.”
\u201c@GuidoFawkes @RishiSunak Strangely enough,most red wall areas that voted Conservative for the first time in 2019 -who have been left behind for decades -aren\u2019t urban/city areas.Exactly the whole point of levelling up. Like the Green Book favouring London and Birmingham over Boro and tunbridge wells\u201d