Cameron hits back at Mayor’s claims

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Liverpool Mayor Joe Anderson (pic © JMU Journalism); Prime Minister David Cameron (pic © Wikipedia/Creative Commons)

Liverpool Mayor Joe Anderson (pic © JMU Journalism); Prime Minister David Cameron (pic © Wikipedia/Creative Commons)

Prime Minister David Cameron has hit back at claims made by Mayor Joe Anderson that his government has neglected Liverpool, by slashing the city’s funding by more than half.

Cameron, who was speaking on local radio station CityTalk, refuted claims that Liverpool’s budget is to be slashed over the next five years, before criticising the mayor.

He said: “I think we’ve got a problem when Joe Anderson tries so much to play politics with these issues. The taxpayer and the government put a lot of money into Liverpool City Council, and as I said, the spending per household is £2,595, and that is £500 more than the English average.”

The response follows claims made by the mayor in the Liverpool Echo today, that the city is the worst off in the country in terms of council cuts since the forming of the coalition in 2010, adding that the city is facing cuts of £156m of cuts in the next few years.

The PM was quick to deny the claims by the mayor, who also suggested that the city now finds it easier to receive funding from China that it does from London.

He said: “I don’t think Joe does his city any favours by just endlessly talking down the money that Liverpool gets. Yes, we want Chinese investment and I’ll help Joe to get that Chinese investment but I don’t think he helps himself by endlessly saying that somehow the rest of the country isn’t supporting Liverpool.”

The interview was met with an angry response by Anderson, who described the Prime Minister’s claims as ‘nonsense’.

He said: “The absurdity of that claim, to suggest for one minute that I got elected by the people in the city of Liverpool and I am now deliberately and desperately cutting their services for political gain is a nonsense.”

Anderson continued by inviting Cameron or anyone else to investigate the figures: “I’ve got nothing to hide here, and if people in this city or outside the city want to come and see the open and transparent funding that we can show them, in terms of what we’ve got, then they can judge for themselves.”

About Nick Seddon, JMU Journalism