Thank you, Mr Deputy Speaker, for giving me the opportunity to speak in this crucial debate. Let me first congratulate all those who have made their maiden speeches today and represented their constituencies so well, and wish them good luck for the future.
Once again, we have come to the Chamber because the Government are failing the people of the United Kingdom. Money is being kept from those who need it. While local authorities in Conservative areas are awash with money, Labour areas lag behind. The typically Labour metropolitan boroughs are set to lose, on average, £300 million under the Tories’ so-called fair funding formula, while—as my right hon. and dear Friend Mr Jones pointed out—leafy, well-off shire counties such as Surrey and Buckinghamshire will find the vast majority of that money funnelled into their already gilded pockets. The former Secretary of State, Greg Clark, agreed in 2016 that this iniquity should not continue unabated. The Conservatives have repeatedly cut the budgets of local authorities since 2010. Councils in London have been the hardest hit, having seen a decrease in core funding of more than 60%.