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Fri, 25 September 2020

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Theresa May 'reins in £27bn schools spending demand' amid row over her legacy

Theresa May 'reins in £27bn schools spending demand' amid row over her legacy
2 min read

Theresa May has reportedly scaled back her demand for a £27billion "legacy" cash boost for schools amid a row with the Treasury.

According to the Sunday Telegraph, the Prime Minister has ditched her attempt to secure the three-year funding boost for schools in her final days in Number 10.

Instead, Downing Street and the Treasury are said to be discussing plans for a more limited, one-off cash injection of around £9bn.

The call to significantly ramp up schools spending comes amid anger from some Tory MPs at what is being seen as an attempt to use public money to secure a legacy for Mrs May as she prepares to leave Downing Street.

Th outgoing Prime Minister has pressed ahead with a series of major announcements as she enters her final month in the top job.

They include high-profile pledges on mental health support, as well as a vow to slash carbon emissions in the UK to net-zero by 2050 - despite a warning from Philip Hammond that it will cost £1trillion.

The Chancellor was also said to be fiercely resisting the call for a £27bn education spending boost - with reports this week that he could even be prepared to quit over the demand.

A Whitehall source told the paper that Mr Hammond would be more willing to accept the scaled-back plan as it would not amount to a pledge that stretched for "years and years".  

PoliticsHome has learned that Tory MPs were canvassed on Mrs May's spending plans by Government whips - who were met with a "uniformly negative" response.

One minister said: "The whips asked us all a few weeks ago what we thought about it and they were told by everyone that it was a bad idea.

"It's just very selfish and a clear attempt to tie the hands of her successor. She should not be doing it, it's as simple as that."

In a swipe at Mrs May's chief of staff and former Tory MP Gavin Barwell, they added: "What's she going to announce next - a mission to Mars? We could maybe call it the Barwell Probe."


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