At Westminster today Barbara criticised the Prime Minister for breaking his pledge of government help for Salford after the recent gas explosion at Irlam.
Barbara asked the Speaker of the House of Commons:
“Today we heard the Prime Minister pledge that the Government would stand ready to help the flood victims in Cornwall. That pledge is similar to one that he made to my constituents when we had a terrible gas explosion two weeks ago—200 households were evacuated, and a dozen people were injured, including one very seriously.
"When I tried to follow up on the Prime Minister’s pledge to my constituents, his officials said that no help was forthcoming. Is it in order for the Prime Minister to stand at the Dispatch Box in Prime Minister’s questions pledging the Government’s support to victims of explosions or floods when his officials have no intention whatever of offering any support?"
Speaking about this, Barbara commented:
“Two weeks ago, the Prime Minister said the gas explosion “was a dreadful accident, and we should think of all those people who have lost their homes and are in temporary accommodation. He also said the Government would “respond as we can to Salford’s needs.” However, when I followed up this pledge with Downing Street I was told that help and support for my constituents affected by the explosion was at the initiative of the Council. Neither the Prime Minister nor any of his Ministers contacted the council although it was clear the Prime Minister did phone through to Cornwall Council Leader today about the flooding there.
"It seems wrong to me that the Prime Minister pledges help but his officials will not follow through with any support. The response to this disaster was magnificent from the emergency services, from Salford City Council, from the Tiger Moth pub and from all the local Community. It is a pity that the Conservative Liberal Democrat Government has let us down in this way.”