Ed Miliband has been accused of failing to stand up for his constituents amid claims he didn’t bother to endorse his local council’s bid for an £18 million funding boost. The former Labour leader was left red-faced after the council failed in its attempt to get the much-needed cash injection.
He then moaned that Rishi Sunak’s nearby constituency successfully secured £19 million of levelling-up funding in the same bidding round.
But the Daily Express can reveal that Mr Miliband seemingly failed to endorse Doncaster North’s bid for a £17.95 million uplift.
The money was earmarked to help modernise local high streets, improve the health of residents, and make the community safer for pedestrians and cyclists.
It would have been a massive boost for Moorends, Mexborough and Woodlands – three of the most deprived areas in Yorkshire.
Freedom of Information requests sent to Doncaster Council asked for all correspondence between the council, council officials, and local MPs in regards to the Levelling Up bid.
The council’s initial response showed that it submitted the bid to Mr Miliband, but he did not reply.
Following a second request, noting that there was no reply from local MPs, the council stated that all correspondence had been sent in the initial response.
A search of Mr Miliband’s Twitter page also shows no results backing his council’s bid.
Following the announcement in January, he complained: “I am deeply disappointed for people in Moorends, Mexborough and Woodlands that the government has rejected the excellent and well supported levelling up bid.
“It is very noticeable that Rishi Sunak’s constituency has been successful while ours has not.”
Despite apparently not backing the funding bid, he added: “The need to invest in our communities is stronger than ever. The problem is that we have a government that has promised areas like ours so much and delivered so little. They have betrayed the promises they have made.
“I will keep fighting for our area. But what today demonstrates once again is that if we are to get the investment we need, we need a Labour government.”
The Conservative Party lashed out at Mr Miliband for failing to stand up for his constituents.
Matt Vickers, Deputy Chairman of the Conservative Party, said: “Labour is, once again, more interested in playing politics than standing up for local communities.
“It is disappointing, but not at all surprising, to see that Miliband did not support his own council’s levelling up bid. This is just another case of Labour not letting the truth get in the way of a good story.
“Only the Conservatives can be trusted to deliver for communities and level up the country.
Mr Miliband has been contacted for a comment.
By contrast, Mr Sunak’s largely wealthy rural constituency was handed £19 million in funding.
Catterick Garrison, a small army town in the Prime Minister’s Richmond constituency in North Yorkshire, will receive money to regenerate its town centre as one of 100 projects awarded a share of the government’s overall £2.1billion levelling-up package.
More than £670 million will go on transport links, £821 million on community regeneration and almost £600 million to restore local heritage sites with other successful bids including Eden Project North in Morecambe, a new AI campus in Blackpool and rail improvements in Cornwall.
However, the funding round has prompted questions around the fairness of the allocations.
Analysis shows that London, which gets £151 million, is getting more than both Yorkshire (£121 million) and the north-east (£108 million), while the south-east (£210 million) is the second biggest recipient, allocated nearly twice as much as the north-east.
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