Rishi Sunak filmed boasting about taking money out of 'deprived urban areas'

Rishi Sunak filmed boasting about taking money out of 'deprived urban areas'
Rishi Sunak boasts about taking money from 'deprived urban areas' to help ...

Rishi Sunak has been filmed bragging about "undoing" measures that give funding to "deprived urban areas".

In footage obtained exclusively by the New Statesman, Sunak is shown addressing Tories in Royal Tunbridge Wells, Kent, on July 29 and saying areas like it "deserve" more cash.

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He said:

"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."

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:

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:

But Sunak’s campaign defended the video.

“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.”

And Tees Valley mayor Ben Houchen said:

indy100 has also contacted Sunak's campaign to comment on this story.

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