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Rishi Sunak brags of diverting public funds from ‘deprived urban areas’

05 Aug 2022 3 minute read
Former Chancellor of the Exchequer Rishi Sunak during a Cabinet meeting at 10 Downing Street. Picture by Daniel Leal / PA Wire

Tory leadership contender Rishi Sunak proudly told party members he had been working to divert funding from “deprived urban areas” towards prosperous towns.

The former chancellor bragged that he had started changing public funding formulas to ensure more prosperous towns receive “the funding they deserve”.

The New Statesman magazine, which obtained video revealing Mr Sunak’s remarks, said they were made to grassroots Tories in Royal Tunbridge Wells, Kent, on July 29.

Labour said it was “scandalous” that Mr Sunak was “openly boasting that he fixed the rules to funnel taxpayers’ money to rich Tory shires”.

The Sunak campaign defended the remarks, arguing he changed the Treasury’s green book setting the rules for government spending to help towns and rural areas also in need of investment.

‘Funding they deserve’

In the video, Mr Sunak told Tory supporters: “I managed to start changing the funding formulas, to make sure areas like this are getting the funding 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.”

The remarks from last week came as Mr Sunak tries to make up ground against Foreign Secretary Liz Truss to win the backing of party members who will choose the next prime minister.

Foreign Office minister Lord Zac Goldsmith said: “This is one of the weirdest – and dumbest – things I’ve ever heard from a politician.”

Jake Berry, the chairman of the Northern Research Group of Tory MPs, said that in public Mr Sunak “claims he wants to level up the North, but here, he boasts about trying to funnel vital investment away from deprived areas”.

“He says one thing and does another – from putting up taxes to trying to block funding for our armed forces and now levelling up,” the Truss supporter said.

Rallied around

But Mr Sunak’s supporters rallied around him, with Conservative Tees Valley mayor Ben Houchen arguing Boris Johnson led the party to electoral victory on a pledge to invest in areas “that have been ignored at the expense of urban cities”.

Labour’s shadow levelling up secretary Lisa Nandy said: “This leadership race is revealing the Conservatives’ true colours. It’s scandalous that Rishi Sunak is openly boasting that he fixed the rules to funnel taxpayers’ money to prosperous Tory shires.

“This is public money. It should be distributed fairly and spent where it’s most needed – not used as a bribe to Tory members.”

Mr Sunak’s campaign did not dispute the video and instead defended its content.

“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 source said.

“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.”


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M.R.
M.R.
3 days ago

Not allowed to call Sunak what I would like to, perhaps you can guess.

Cathy Jones
Cathy Jones
3 days ago
Reply to  M.R.

I’m pretty sure I shouted that word out loud when I read the article….The guy is a complete one isn’t he? A complete and utter one.
I think he might be the most one of them that there is in the country today, with Liz (should)Truss(ed up and rolled down a hill) coming a close second.

Damn…another competition in which no matter which one of them wins we all lose.

Cathy Jones
Cathy Jones
3 days ago

Well, I think we can safely say that the only thing that has changed since that video in which he essentially sneered at the working class is his shirt…..

Last edited 3 days ago by Cathy Jones
Kerry Davies
Kerry Davies
3 days ago

Sadly the Tory faithful cannot join the dots or hold two ideas at once otherwise those in Tunbridge Wells would thank him for taking money from poor plebs then ask him why he supports fracking under their homes.

Tunbridge sits slap in the middle of the most hotly contested fracking licence areas between Guildford and Ashford and gets most drinking water from boreholes.

andrew r north
andrew r north
3 days ago
Reply to  Kerry Davies

Bring on the fracking. Will them right if they get free gas from their taps.

Fi yn unig
Fi yn unig
3 days ago

In my postings on the child poverty article, i used the term ‘evil agenda’. I just checked the definition of two words. Evil and Incarnate. Evil – profoundly immoral and wicked. Incarnate – embodied in the human form. I just wanted to make sure I was using correct and accurate words which I could stand by. I stand by my words.

Ernie The Smallholder
Ernie The Smallholder
3 days ago

Wales should just construct our national institutions in Cardiff and declare independence as soon as possible.

There is no future for Wales or Scotland in the centralised UK.

Fi yn unig
Fi yn unig
3 days ago

Correct and becoming clearer by the day.

andrew r north
andrew r north
3 days ago

I agree we have everything to gain.

Y Cymro
Y Cymro
3 days ago

If you want to see what sort of man Rishy Sunak is watch the video of him at university admitting he had no ” working class friends ” to see how out if touch with reality he is. In yesterday’s debate it was revealed how he was building a huge swimming pool at his home, no doubt one of many, even though in his constituency their local public swimming pool is threatened with closure. He also stated in recent hustings said he favoured devolving more powers to the English regions whilst a arrogantly saying that he would devolve any more… Read more »

Dark Mrakeford
Dark Mrakeford
3 days ago

Pure evil is what it’s called

Hogyn y Gogledd
Hogyn y Gogledd
3 days ago

How low the tories are is clearly demonstrated by the fact that this man is superior to Lizzy Jockstrap in every way, but is still a total c**t.

One of the two witnesses
One of the two witnesses
3 days ago

Costs him nothing. He is speaking to the core Tory voters. The ylike it when the poor are punished. He will change his story when speaking to the whole nation. We must ensure that he doesn’t get to forget this comment

Cwm Rhondda
Cwm Rhondda
3 days ago

Blown his cover.

Gareth
Gareth
2 days ago

The sad thing is, no matter what people like him say, there is a core vote in England, who will still elect him and his ilk. Eg, Margate in Kent has high unemployment, is a deprived area, and has one of the lowest levels of pupils leaving school, with a qualification, in the UK, yet they have voted Tory since it became a constituency in 1983. We need out of this now. Annibyniaeth nawr, os oes rhaid I ni aros, bydd hi’n rhy hwyr.

The Original Mark
The Original Mark
2 days ago

If this is the best Sunaks election team can do, just imagine what a sh*tshow it would be if he was PM,

Arwyn
Arwyn
2 days ago

I remember John Redwood on the news proclaiming proudly that he’d shaved £150M off the Welsh office budget and sent it back to the treasury on account of his thriftyness. This was at a time that our Valleys communities had recently been deprived of their industry and poverty cast a dreadful shadow over Wales. That was the day I decided I wanted to see an independent Wales. We’ve never voted for those b******s. Not once. Yet despite Labour winning every national election in Wales for a century we keep on getting Tory governments that trash Wales through their appalling governance.… Read more »

hdavies15
hdavies15
2 days ago
Reply to  Arwyn

Labour is an openly Unionist party at the level that matters. Some of its rank and file may flirt with nationalism but too often only on an “our way or no way” basis. True dissenters need to leave that party, create a separate Plaid Lafur Cymru and dump the loyalist junk. Within 2 Senedd sessions, say 10 years, they could drain Plaid Cymru of its support and membership and reduce it to a shell.

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