Clegg hits back over Labour’s claims EU cash is declining

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Sheffield MP and Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg has hit back after attacks from Labour over cuts to European Union funding for South Yorkshire.

Labour MPs accused Mr Clegg of ‘abandoning the region’ after an announcement South Yorkshire would receive £178 million of the UK’s £8.3 billion share of European regeneration funding between 2014 and 2020. The county received £350m in the last six years.

But Mr Clegg said decisions by Labour meant funding was ‘front loaded’ so most was paid early in the 2007 to 2013 period - including £173m in 2007 - then declined sharply to £20 million in 2013. South Yorkshire will get £23m next year.

He said: “This is another example of Labour pulling the rug then seeking to blame others.”

Wentworth and Dearne Labour MP John Healey said Mr Clegg was trying to deflect blame himself.