"Desperate Tory Metrolink bait" won't be swallowed in Manchester

The Liberal Democrats have responded to the Conservative Metrolink expansion pledge, slamming it as 'desperate bait for the North'.

The Conservatives have said they would invest 'millions' to extend Greater Manchester's Metrolink system to Bolton and Stockport.

But the Liberal Democrats have warned this is incompatible with taking the UK out of the EU, given the system has been funded by the European Regional Development Fund and said the Tories should consider addressing the "breathtaking imbalance" in transport subsidy between London and the North.

Analysis from IPPR showed that London got £1,500 per head more than the North for transport in 2016/17.

Liberal Democrats Spokesperson for the North and Leader of the Liberal Democrats in Manchester John Leech said:

"Tory and Labour governments have left Manchester behind for generations leading to a staggering disparity in transport quality and availability, but this latest re-announcement is just desperate bait for Northern votes.

"It is beyond ironic that the Tories are promising something that is so desperately needed here whilst dragging us out of the very institution that funds it.

"Whilst the Tories have slashed funding to our cities, it was the EU that stepped in to rebalance the inequality. But instead of re-announcing policies, and inevitably not delivering on them, perhaps they should consider addressing the breathtaking imbalance in transport subsidy between London and the North.

"Only the Liberal Democrats will stop Brexit and build a brighter future for everyone in Manchester by investing in our buses, trams and railways, connecting the North and focussing on fixing transport in the North rather than obsessing with London."

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