Lisa Nandy: Brexit bribe could cost May votes, not gain them

Lisa Nandy, who has made clear that she is willing to consider voting for Theresa May’s Brexit deal, has said the £1.6bn fund announcement made today could lose the Prime Minister votes among Labour MPs, not win them.

Speaking to Channel 4 News, the MP for Leave-voting Wigan said: “I think it’s been so badly handled, this whole episode, that it’s possible that Theresa May has lost even more trust than she had before, and that actually it will cost her votes rather than gain them.”

Although Nandy estimated that there were potentially 40 to 60 Labour rebels who could vote for May’s deal, she described the number of those who would defy the whip to approve it now as “very small”.

“I think she’d be lucky if she got 15 Labour MPs,” Nandy added. “And I suspect that number might even be a bit smaller following this announcement because… it just shows that the government isn’t serious.

“They say one thing in private, they do another thing in public.”

The fund, described as a “Brexit bribe” by Labour, has been found to fall £5.7bn short of the council cuts imposed by this Tory government across the country.

Andrew Gwynne, Labour’s communities spokesman, commented: “The money on offer may sound large, but it’s a drop in the ocean compared to the billions the Conservatives have cut from local communities.”

“This bribe is a shameful and pitiful attempt to buy political support,” Gwynne added. “But it won’t succeed. Voters only have to look at how their towns have suffered under the Conservatives to know that under a Tory Brexit, their local council will be dramatically worse off.”

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