State aid is key to Tory vow to level up Britain’s towns and cities

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Metro mayors want state funds made available to them for ailing industries, but many fear Whitehall will make decisions

The promise of state aid proved to be an important element of Boris Johnson’s election-winning strategy. Without state aid, there is no levelling up. And without a commitment to transform the towns and cities of the north, the Midlands and the West Country, vital votes would not have deserted Labour.

The subsidy control bill, put before parliament on Wednesday, should give the Tories’ newly won supporters a clue about is likely be subsidised by the state. It is better at saying what will not meet the criteria. In particular, it is clear ailing industries will be turned away by Whitehall officials.

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