Levelling Up

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 3:43 pm on 20 November 2023.

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Photo of Sammy Wilson Sammy Wilson Shadow DUP Spokesperson (Treasury), Shadow DUP Spokesperson (Work and Pensions), Shadow DUP Spokesperson (Brexit) 3:43, 20 November 2023

People in Northern Ireland will be angry tonight that not one penny of a fund that the Minister describes as creating opportunities across all regions and nations of the UK, and aimed at tackling regional inequality, is allocated to Northern Ireland. He gives the flimsy excuse that it is because the Northern Ireland Executive are not up and running. The Northern Ireland Executive did not have any input into the previous rounds, and would not have had any into this round. Of course, they would not even have needed to seek new allocations, because no new applications were needed. Is this not a case of blatant, pathetic, transparent economic blackmail to try to get the Assembly up and running again, without addressing the reasons why it fell, and of pouring the money into key Conservative marginal constituencies to bolster party support?