Axminster’s bid for towns fund was sidelined as ministers helped each other target money – at each other’s constituencies!
We’ve known for some time that Axminster – nominated last year by the old ‘Tory-lite’ administration at EDDC for the Government’s fund to support ailing town centres – was unsuccessful in its bid. But recently a House of Commons committee discovered that funding had been targeted (this was before the general election) at marginal seats that the Tories aimed to take or hold, with towns in safe seats like ours losing out.
Yesterday the Housing secretary, Robert Jenrick – already notorious for breaking lockdown rules by going to his second or third home, and for helping Tory donors avoid tax – yielding an even more staggering revelation. He told the BBC’s The Andrew Marr Show: “If the question you’re coming to is was I involved in selecting my own community, absolutely not. Ministers do not get involved in their own constituencies. That decision was made by another minister in my department.”
Asked which minister made the decision, Jenrick replied: “It was made by Jake Berry.” When Marr pointed out that a town in Berry’s constituency also received money from the fund, Jenrick confirmed that he was the individual to have given that decision the go-ahead.
And people think that we are exaggerating when we say the Tories are corrupt!