MP COLUMN: Government needs to put people's interests first

Since the beginning of the pandemic we have seen shocking levels of corruption and cronyism from right at the top of the Conservative party.

Thursday, 8th April 2021, 7:00 am
Ian Lavery, MP for Wansbeck.

Notable examples include the appointment of Dido Harding, wife of a Tory MP and Tory life peer, to head up the test and trace system that has proven to be a disaster.

Or of the Health Secretary Matt Hancock handing a lucrative Covid testing contract to his neighbour despite him having no experience or qualifications to merit such a deal.

Now they are playing more political games with taxpayers’ money in the name of levelling up.

Of the £1billion of public money allocated to towns by the government as part of their levelling up fund, £886million went to towns represented by a Conservative MP.

This is despite the fact that many of these towns represented by Tory MP’s are already far wealthier than towns being ignored for funding, including towns in Wansbeck.

Levelling up should be a policy focused on investment and improving the lives of those living in left behind communities in the North. If they did, they would not be cherry picking towns based in only Conservative held or target constituencies, but the ones who truly needed the funding the most.

The country needs a government who puts its people’s interests first, and not the interest of their rich friends and neighbours.

Only then will we be able to rebuild left behind towns properly and fairly after decades of decline and austerity.

Ian Lavery, Wansbeck MP