There would be “no such cut” to transport in the North

Boris Johnson, Prime Ministers’ Questions

February 24, 2021

Facts

When asked at PMQs about a budget cut to transport in the North, Johnson denied this. He told MPs that there would be “no such cut” to funding for the body tasked with improving transport in the North.

Labour MP Diana Johnson asked: "Is the 40% cut to Transport for the North's Budget part of the PM's plans for leveling up the North?"

The PM replied: "There has been no such cut and we intend to invest massively in Northern Powerhouse Rail, in railways for the north and across the entire country."

A report from a board meeting of Transport for the North from January 2021 revealed plans to slash core funding from £10m in 2020/21 to £6m in 2021/22.

When asked about this by the Daily Mirror, a spokesperson for the Prime Minister said: “You have what the Prime Minister said. I think he went on to talk about the areas where we are providing substantial investment.”

Asked if Mr Johnson intended to correct the record, his spokesman said: "As I say you’ve got what the PM has said. He’s always been clear we are committed to delivering upgrades, to level up the North.”

And asked if such apparently false statements eroded public trust, he added: "As I say the PM’s clear that leveling up across the country is one of the key pillars and priorities of this government.”

Verdict

The Prime Ministers’ comments were misleading and they remain on the House of Commons record in defiance of the Ministerial Code.

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