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HMRC Closures — [Philip Davies in the Chair]

Part of Backbench Business – in Westminster Hall at 2:54 pm on 2nd November 2017.

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Photo of Mel Stride Mel Stride Financial Secretary to the Treasury and Paymaster General 2:54 pm, 2nd November 2017

The answer is similar to the one I gave Dr Cameron a moment ago. Nobody is suggesting that Bradford is not a superb location in many different ways for many different business activities—absolutely not. I do not have the figures to hand, but I would probably agree with the hon. Gentleman that in terms of office space, the cost per square foot is probably less in Bradford than in Leeds. However, we have a series of criteria, and the overarching objective of those criteria is to collect tax and to have access to the best available within the region—the best talent pool and the best digital and physical connectivity. On balance, the decision is that Leeds fits that bill better than Bradford, but that is not for a moment to suggest that Bradford is not a wonderful place to run businesses.