No more levelling up money for us…

The BBC reports:

Northern Ireland has not been allocated any money from a £1bn funding scheme because of Stormont’s collapse, the UK government has said.

The Department for Levelling Up announced funding for 55 projects across Great Britain.

It said no money has been provided to Northern Ireland “at this time” because of the absence of an executive and assembly.

The Democratic Unionist Party (DUP) branded the move “economic blackmail”.

The party has been blocking a restoration of Northern Ireland’s power-sharing institutions in protest against post-Brexit trade barriers between the region and Great Britain.

Levelling Up Secretary Michael Gove said the funding announced on Monday would “create new jobs and opportunities, power economic growth, and revitalise local areas”.

His department confirmed no funding had been allocated to Northern Ireland.

“In Northern Ireland, given the current absence of a working executive and assembly, the government is not proceeding with this round of the Levelling Up Fund at this time,” it said.

“We will continue to work closely with projects and places in Northern Ireland that were awarded a total of £120m in the first two rounds of the fund.”

DUP MP Sammy Wilson described the Conservative Party government’s move as “outrageous”.

He said the absence of a Stormont Executive “has no material effect on the allocations”.

Are the Tories engaged in a bit of collective punishment? Do we all have to suffer while they put the squeeze on the DUP?

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