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'Stop Pitting Us Against Each Other' London Labour Party Figures Tell Andy Burnham

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Labour figures today called on Andy Burnham to dial down his comments about London and the south, accusing him of “pitting regions against each other”.

The Mayor of Greater Manchester has been accused of using “anti-London rhetoric” when he defends the north.

It comes after the government was slammed by both Labour and Tory MPs for watering down rail upgrades for the north as they scrapped the HS2 eastern leg to Leeds.

Northern leaders are furious and say they want the same deal as London when it comes to transport infrastructure and fares.

While Burnham’s Labour colleagues unanimously back more support for the north, some are not happy with him making comparisons to London. The capital is dominated by Labour MPs and has a Labour mayor - who this week warned Transport for London faces major cuts.

Their discomfort hit new levels when Burnham tweeted: “No expense spared for the south. No money left for the north. This isn’t ‘levelling up’. This is the same old story.”

Neil Coyle, MP for Bermondsey Old Southwark, last month accused Burnham of making “cheap digs” at London over the price of rail fares. Burnham told him it was not a dig at London to ask that “people here get some of the good things London has got”.

Coyle told HuffPost UK he had raised the issue both publicly and privately with Burnham, adding: “Londoners work longer hours, have higher rents and we have severe levels of deprivation even in inner London communities like my own. Parts of Southwark have 40 per cent child poverty for example.”

Leonie Cooper, a Labour member of the London Assembly, said it was a mistake to view the capital........

© HuffPost

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