BORIS Johnson should help councils in Wales address a £170 million funding hole caused by the coronavirus crisis, according to one Gwent MP.

Jessica Morden asked the prime minister if the UK government would step in to support councils and keep vital services running.

Speaking in the House of Commons today (Tuesday), Newport East MP Ms Morden asked Mr Johnson: "Welsh councils are reporting a shortfall of around £170 million in the first quarter of this financial year, due to the crisis, and we will need the UK government to step up and provide more funding to the Welsh Government, to ensure that we do not suffer big cuts to services just when they are needed most. Will the Prime Minister commit to that?"

Mr Johnson replied: "It is, of course, up to the Welsh Government to spend money properly, but the honourable lady should be in no doubt that this government continue to commit sums to help all the devolved administrations."

He added: "As I think our friends from the SNP (Scottish National Party) will know, the UK Exchequer has already contributed £3.7 billion extra in Barnett consequentials for Scotland alone.

"I am sure that point is seldom off the lips of the honourable member for Gordon (Richard Thomson). We will continue to support every part of the United Kingdom."


The prime minister's pledges do not go far enough, according to Ms Morden.

Speaking after the Commons debate, she said: "In his response – which strangely seemed to focus on Scotland rather than Wales – the prime minister failed to acknowledge the very real concerns Welsh councils have about their financial recovery from the ongoing pandemic.

"Council workers have gone above and beyond to keep key services going during this incredibly challenging time. Its vital that the UK government provides more funding to the Welsh Government to pass on to our councils."