“Perfectly normal” is it, Robert Jenrick?
If you are utterly corrupt, it might be perfectly normal to allocate millions of pounds from a regeneration fund to your fellow MP’s constituency in return for him giving £25 million to yours. Not if you’re honest!
Jenrick tried to brazen out the Labour Party’s accusation against him when he appeared on the BBC’s Andrew Marr Show:
Communities Secretary Robert Jenrick has dismissed Labour’s call for an investigation into the award of a £25m regeneration grant to his constituency.
He told BBC One’s Andrew Marr show the decision to give the money to Newark, Nottinghamshire, had been taken by fellow minister Jake Berry.
Mr Jenrick said he had himself decided to grant funds to a town in Mr Berry’s constituency under the same scheme.
He called this “perfectly normal” and accused Labour of “distraction”.
The £25m was awarded to Newark under the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government’s £3.6bn Towns Fund, set up last year to help places that had “not always benefitted from economic growth in the same way as more prosperous areas”.
Here’s a clip of him doing just that:
#marr – Which minister decided that your constituency would get money?
Robert Jenrick – Jake Berry#Marr – & Jake Berry also get money for his constituency… & who decided that?
— Haggis_UK 🇬🇧 🇪🇺 (@Haggis_UK) October 11, 2020
Jenrick is the Secretary of State for Housing and Berry is a minister within the same government department.
The public has already passed its own verdict on whether the decisions were corrupt – and both Jenrick and Berry have been found lacking:
Oh wow, Robert Jenrick just admitted that he allocated funds to Jake Berry's constituency, and Berry allocated funds to Jenrick's. Another example of #oneruleforthem corruption to add to the ever growing Conservative pile.#Marr
— Dom (@dombnicky) October 11, 2020
What Jenrick said about he and his Junior Minister Jake Berry deciding to give money to each other's constituencies only passes the sniff test if Covid has taken away your sense of smell. #Marr
— Briefcase Michael (@BriefcaseMike) October 11, 2020
— NMcB🍀🏴 (@neilperth2) October 11, 2020
I can’t believe that anyone from a working class background in the North would vote for this millionaires boys club effectively handing them the keys to the safe, they are lining each other’s pockets and sticking two fingers up at the rest #ToryCorruption
— Paul (@R17ERG) October 11, 2020
There will be no inquiry into this and neither Jenrick nor Berry will face the sack, or even any disciplinary action. Boris Johnson’s government doesn’t believe it is accountable to the public.
They’ll probably divert attention by claiming the controversy is about something different. Jenrick has already tried:
He added: “This is perfectly normal. Ministers don’t get involved in making decisions for their own constituency.
“But neither should their constituencies be victims of the fact that their MP is a minister.”
That is not the issue. Just to spell it out so it is perfecly clear: The issue is that ministers from the Ministry of Housing have colluded to funnel cash from that ministry’s Towns Fund into their own constituencies.
Jenrick’s passion for corruption is already well-established – remember the controversy over his decision to help Richard Desmond avoid paying £50 million to a community where he wanted to build a new development that did not conform to planning rules.
Now we may add Berry to our ever-growing list of corrupt Tories.
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