A leaked video shows Rishi Sunak claiming that treasury formulas “slid all funding into deprived urban areas of the UK” before he became chancellor.
He boasted to Conservative party members in Tunbridge Wells that he was clear that the situation had to be “undone” when he was in office.
And he boasted that he had instead spent money on prosperous cities like theirs.
He said he’s started changing public funding formulas to make sure more places like the Southeast city “get the funding they deserve.”
The footage, obtained by New Statesman magazine, was from a grassroots Tories event last week. Labor called it “outrageous” that Sunak “openly boasted that he had set the rules to channel taxpayers’ money into wealthy Tory-shires”.
But Mr Sunak’s campaign defended the comments and linked them to the government’s leveling agenda. They said he changed government spending rules to help cities and rural areas that also needed investment.
In the video, Mr Sunak told Tory party members, who will choose either the former chancellor or his rival Liz Truss as the next prime minister: “I’ve managed to change the funding formulas, to make sure that areas like this don’t get the funding. get they deserve it because we inherited a lot of Labor formulas that pushed all funding into underserved urban areas and had to be undone.
“I’ve started to undo that.”
Labor shadow-raising secretary Lisa Nandy said: “This is outrageous. Rishi Sunak openly boasts that he has set the rules to funnel taxpayers’ money into wealthy Tory-shires.
“This is our money. It should be spent fairly and where it is most needed – not as a bribe for Tory members.
“Speaking of showing your true colors…”
A source in Mr Sunak’s campaign said: “Leveling is not just about city centers, it is also about cities and rural areas across the country that are also in need of help. He has changed that in the green book and he will follow as prime minister. ”
“As he travels across the country, he has seen non-metropolitan areas in need of better bus services, faster broadband or quality schools. That is what he will deliver as prime minister.”