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Tell No 10 to stop the threats

“There’s been threats made to a few people that they won’t get funding for projects if they don’t side with the government… to try and hold back an entire area or prevent regeneration just to get you to vote for something you clearly don’t like, it’s not something I’m particularly comfortable with.”

Those are the words of a Conservative MP. And it’s not the only time MPs have said they’ve been threatened with losing constituency funding if they don’t toe the party line in Commons votes.

It appears Number 10 used these threats in an attempt to punish voters to try and force MPs to spare Tory MP Owen Paterson from suspension, after he broke parliamentary rules by lobbying for a private firm that paid him £100,000 a year. One backbencher said MPs were told “they would lose funding for their constituency” if they failed to vote with the Prime Minister.

This is shocking stuff. Not only does it undermine Parliament and weaken MPs’ independence – the allegations, if true, are in the realms of criminal offence.

Cutting off funding for local communities to force MPs to vote to save the skin of a disgraced MP also reveals the truth behind what the Government likes to style as ‘levelling up’.

The reports suggest a very serious misuse of public money, in the realms of criminal conduct, by or for the Prime Minister. We will not stand by and watch. If you are in a position to do so, please donate to this vital legal challenge.

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