McDonnell: Labour votes ‘won’t be bought’

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Image copyright Getty Images Image caption John McDonnell says MPs exchanging votes for investment in their areas would be “corrupt politics”

The shadow chancellor says Labour MPs will not be “bribed” into supporting Theresa May’s Brexit deal in exchange for funding for their constituencies.

John McDonnell said any such offer would be “pork-barrel politics” and “dangerous for our democracy”.

It follows reports that investment could be made in Leave-voting constituencies to secure MPs’ votes.

A spokesman for the PM said this week any investment to tackle inequality could not be called “cash for votes”.

The government is understood to be considering proposals from a group of Labour MPs in predominantly Leave-supporting constituencies to allocate more funds to their communities for big infrastructure projects.

It is thought the MPs have recommended the prime minister to consider re-allocating the EU’s regional assist budget away from big cities and local councils and to give the cash direct to smaller communities, often in former steel and coal mining areas.

On Thursday, Labour MP John Mann, who was one of only three Labour MPs to back Mrs May’s Brexit deal, told her to “show us the money”.

On a visit to Stoke-on-Trent on Saturday, however, Mr McDonnell rejected any link between votes and funding.

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