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British Prime Minister candidate Rishi Sunak gives money to the wealthy

British Prime Minister candidate Rishi Sunak gives money to the wealthy

A video has emerged of former chancellor Rishi Sunak saying he diverted government money from “disadvantaged urban areas” to ensure “rich neighborhoods” get the funding they “deserve”. Even within his own party, the criticism is harsh: “That’s one of the strangest and dumbest things I’ve ever heard from a politician.”

“I’ve been able to change the funding formulas so that areas like this get the funding they deserve.” Rishi Sunak, a former Chancellor of the Exchequer who is running for prime minister, made the claim during a speech to Conservative Party members at Royal Tunbridge Wells in Kent on 29 July. This is evidenced by a leaked video clip circulating on social media. Sunak also admitted that he takes money from disadvantaged urban areas to give to other parts of the country.

“We inherited a series of measures from Labor that diverted all funding to underserved urban areas and it had to be reversed. I started to invalidate that,” he said. Supporters say the video lacks context and his spokesperson says Sunak has also talked about district funding. Rural and cities across the country that also need help, such as improving public transportation, the spokesperson said.

The opposition Labor Party finds it “disgraceful” that Sunak publicly boasts that he has changed the rules to funnel taxpayers’ money to wealthy conservative districts. Labor is asking Secretary of State for Equal Opportunity Greg Clark to investigate.

The Secretary of State for Environment and Development Cooperation, Zach Goldsmith – like Conservative Party member Sunak – also voiced his criticism. “This is one of the strangest and dumbest things I’ve ever heard from a politician,” Goldsmith said.

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Sunak’s comments come at a time when he is trying to catch up with rival candidate Liz Truss, who is doing better in the polls.