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If Hull got the same funding as the ‘Northern Ireland Powerhouse’…

Diana Johnson MP today released analysis showing that Hull would get £209m extra if the City had the same Government funding deal announced this week for Northern Ireland.
 
According to the Hull North MP, Yorkshire and Humber region would get £4.3bn of extra funding if treated the same as Northern Ireland, following the political pact that the Tory Government agreed with the Democratic Unionist Party (DUP) this week.
 
For Hull, the extra funding could be used to:
 
Finance rail electrification between Selby and Hull – after Tory Ministers recently blocked a privately financed bid to do this work.
 
Reverse Government cuts to Hull City Council.
 
Reverse five years of Tory-Lib Dem cuts to Humberside Police.
 
Cancel planned cuts to local schools and our NHS.
 
Diana Johnson MP said: “If Hull got the same funding that the Tories are lavishing on Northern Ireland - with their extra £1.5bn - we could reverse council cuts imposed on Hull by Whitehall since 2010, along with years of police cuts. 
 
“Planned cuts to Hull schools and NHS hospitals could be cancelled. We could also electrify the Selby to Hull rail line.
 
“Hull people pay their taxes, but we’ve not been getting a fair deal on funding since 2010. Now there’s every prospect of the ‘Northern Ireland Powerhouse’ coming at the expense of the ‘Northern Powerhouse’ that David Cameron’s Government did so much to promote. This holds the prospect of more austerity for Hull.
 
“We will continue working against the odds to make our own luck in Hull, as we have in creating the Energy Estuary and attracting arts funding as the UK City of Culture. However, it’s clear that Hull will get no fair deal from Whitehall under the Tories. 
 
“Money that should come to Hull will go to favoured areas of the South and to fund the deal with the DUP in Ulster that is solely about propping up Theresa May.”
 
The Hull North MP also highlighted the need for the Fair Deal for Hull campaign to continue, as the Tory Government switched funding to Northern Ireland, in a speech in the House of Commons.
 
Diana Johnson MP told the House of Commons:
 
"I, too, congratulate you on your election, Mr Deputy Speaker. I also pay tribute to the many excellent maiden speeches we have heard this afternoon.
 
 
I thank the people of Kingston upon Hull North for returning me to the House for the fourth time. The Prime Minister started this election on a “strong and stable” mantra, but she ended it “just managing”, getting by with the best help money can buy from her friends in the Democratic Unionist party.
 
 
I campaigned for re-election on the basis of my record as a constituency Member of Parliament, and a manifesto that I believe was much like a modernised version of Labour’s 1945 programme, combining hope and radicalism with a patriotic commitment to the security and unity of our nation. Labour lost the election, but that combination will see our day come again.
 
 
Large parts of the Tory manifesto were dropped from the Queen’s Speech, with no dementia tax; the retention of the pension triple lock; no means-testing of the winter fuel allowance; the retention of free school lunches, a policy first pioneered in Hull; and no return to the 1950s on grammar schools or even to the 1850s on foxhunting. However, many plans remain for further cuts to schools, our local NHS and local policing. 
 
Recent events show that we need to look again at the magnitude of the cuts to our emergency services over the past seven years. As a Hull MP, I appreciate the value of these services. In 2007, just 10 years ago, we had floods in Hull and I recall how important the work of the police and the fire service were. What happened at Manchester Arena, London Bridge, Grenfell Tower and even in New Palace Yard reminds us how vital these services are, which is why tonight I will be supporting the amendment to the Queen’s Speech to scrap the cap on public sector pay. The Government seem to be in some confusion about their position on the cap. I hope we do not see another omnishambles from the Government over this Queen’s Speech.
 
 
On other Government policies that need to be dropped, I hope we will see the end of the gerrymandering scandal of cutting the size of this elected House under the false guise of cost, while increasing the size of the unelected other place. 
 
Sadly, the Gracious Speech did not include any reference to the WASPI women’s fight for transitional help, or to those affected by the contaminated blood scandal, the worst treatment disaster ​in the history of the NHS. Today, we finally saw some individuals charged for the Hillsborough disaster. After Andy Burnham’s brilliant valedictory speech in the Commons exposing the extent of criminal behaviour in the contaminated blood scandal, we wait to see whether the Government will do the right thing and order an inquiry into what happened.
 
 
I noticed mention in the Gracious Speech of further legislation on High Speed 2. 
 
As a Hull MP, I find this rather galling. Tory Ministers recently blocked Hull’s privately financed rail electrification scheme—our High Speed 1. 
 
The space industry Bill poses the real possibility of commercial space travel happening before the Selby to Hull rail line gets electrified. I wonder what will happen to the Northern Powerhouse as the Government find £1.5 billion for the new Northern Ireland Powerhouse. If Hull were to have the same treatment as Northern Ireland, we would get an extra £209 million of funding: enough to pay for the rail electrification, and to reverse the cuts to the councils and the police.
 
 
I will continue in this Parliament, as I did in the previous Parliament, to campaign for a fair deal for Hull, and to make sure the Brexit deal we get is best for this country and my constituency."
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