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Rishi Sunak is fighting Liz Truss for the keys to No 10.
Leadership Battle

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

The former chancellor is seen in a video telling Tory members of his work as he fights the leadership campaign.

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 Sunak’s remarks, said they were made to grassroots Tories in Royal Tunbridge Wells, Kent, on 29 July.

Labour said it was “scandalous” that 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.

In the video, 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 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.

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…”

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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Press Association
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