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COMMUNITIES across the country have been “abandoned” by the government, with the most deprived areas suffering the most cuts, Jeremy Corbyn said today.
Nine in 10 of the poorest council areas have seen cuts almost three times the average of any other council, he said citing official figures during Prime Minister’s Questions.
The Labour leader asked Theresa May: “Why has the Prime Minister decided to cut the worst-off areas in our country more than the most well-off?”
Mr Corbyn also said that, under this government, 500,000 more children “have gone into relative poverty.”
He added: “In Stoke-on-Trent alone, 4,000 foodbank parcels were handed out to children last year.
“The evidence is clear – the Tories have abandoned communities across the country, they’ve left towns and cities to fend for themselves after nine years of vindictive, damaging austerity.”
Mr Corbyn pointed out there are are 1,000 fewer Sure Start centres and 760 fewer youth centres since the last Labour government.
“This government stands for tax cuts for the richest and swingeing cuts for the rest,” he said.
“Will the Prime Minister now admit that far from tackling the burning injustices she talked about, her government’s cruel and unfair policies have pushed councils to the brink and left those just about managing not being able to manage at all.
“That is her legacy.”
The PM said “councils have more money available this year and a real-terms increase has been provided.”
In the evening, Ms May was in Brussels for an emergency EU summit where she hoped she would be given a short extension to Article 50.
A Downing Street source said she would make the case for an extension up to June 30 with a break clause to leave on May 22 if her Withdrawal Agreement is passed through the Commons, so that Britain does not have to participate in European elections.
Ms May was warned by German Chancellor Angela Merkel that the EU would only agree to a longer extension of up to a year.
The unanimous agreement of all 27 remaining EU states is needed to avoid a no-deal Brexit tomorrow.
On the ongoing cross-party talks between Labour and the government with the view to break the deadlock, Mr Corbyn’s spokesman said after PMQs that ministers found it “pretty difficult” to move off Ms May’s red lines.
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