Labour MP brands May's fund for leave-voting towns 'pathetic'

Theresa May

Monday, March 4, 2019

Theresa May’s Stronger Towns Fund is a “pathetic” sum of money, according to the MP for Stoke-on-Trent North.

The Prime Minister is facing accusations that she is trying to “bribe” MPs in leave-voting constituencies to vote for her deal with a £1.6bn fund for struggling communities.

However Ruth Smeeth, whose constituency voted for Leave by 72.1 per cent, said the amount of money pledged was “pathetic” compared to the budget cuts made by the government.

 

Speaking to talkRADIO’s Mike Graham, Ms Smeeth said: “People voted for Brexit but we’ve never had a conversation about why, and I hoped that this was the first genuine conversation about that, about how we rebalance the economy nationally and invest in areas savaged by austerity cuts.

“But let’s be honest about how much money this actually is. It’s £1.6bn over four years, that’s a tiny, tiny amount of money.

“It’s less money for the whole of the west Midlands than has been slashed from my budget since 2010 for my constituents. It’s a pathetic amount of money."

 

Second referendum 'betrays democracy'

Ruth Smeeth said she would not vote for a second referendum. 

 

Ms Smeeth suggested she would not vote for Mrs May’s deal when it came before parliament unless the Prime Minister made genuine changes to the Withdrawal Agreement.

Although she campaigned for remain, Ms Smeeth blasted Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn’s suggestion that the party could support a second referendum.

She said: “I’m completely opposed to a second referendum because I think it betrays democracy.

“The country is more divided than any time in my lifetime, and another referendum would be even more divided and isn’t going to help anybody.

“We’re stuck with Brexit and we’ve got to deliver on it. People in my constituency have given us a clear instruction and now they’re trusting me to deliver on that. I will do everything I can to deliver on my constituents.”

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