Rolling coverage of the day’s political developments as they happen
- Downing Street lobby briefing – Summary
- No 10 hints government watering down its backstop demands from EU
- Minister admits £1.6bn for poor towns to be spent over next seven years
This is from the Press Association, explaining how the £1.6bn stronger towns fund announced today (see 9.24am) compares to other government spending decisions.
The £1bn billion that has been allocated to specific regions of England, which will be spread over seven financial years to 2025/26, matches the amount of money the government agreed to provide over five years to the Northern Ireland executive as part of the deal it struck with the DUP in 2017. This deal saw the DUP’s 10 MPs agree to support the government on all key votes, including the Queen’s Speech and Budgets.
– The combined total allocated to the South East, South West, East & West Midlands and eastern England (£417m) is just £3m below the £420 announced by chancellor Philip Hammond in the 2018 budget for local authorities to fix potholes and renew bridges and tunnels in one year (2018/19).
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Speaking on Salisbury, on a visit to mark the one-year anniversay of the novichok attakc, Theresa May said:
What I have seen today here in Salisbury is the tremendous spirit and resolve of the people of Salisbury. It has been a difficult year for them and particularly difficult for the immediate victims of the reckless attack that took place on the streets of Salisbury and the use of a chemical weapon, a nerve agent, on our streets.