A BRADFORD MP has accused the Government of sacrificing transport improvements in the North to pay for its controversial deal with the DUP.

The minority Conservative Government last month struck a £1bn deal with the Democratic Unionists to secure their backing in key votes.

Now Judith Cummins, Labour MP for Bradford South, has spoken out over speculation that Transport Secretary Chris Grayling plans to further delay the long-awaited electrification of the TransPennine rail route.

Speaking during Prime Minister's Questions today, she said: "We have had two general elections where the Government have promised investment in the northern powerhouse, and yet again, within weeks, they have U-turned on the TransPennine electrification.

"Is the £1bn deal with the DUP to keep the Prime Minister in power being funded at the expense of investment in Bradford and the north?"

Cabinet Office minister Damian Green replied: "No, not at all. The money that has gone for infrastructure in Northern Ireland is richly needed there. For example, we have signed city deals in England, Scotland and Wales, but none yet in Northern Ireland.

"The honourable lady is right about the importance of the Northern Powerhouse, and we will continue with that programme, which is hugely important.

"As she has already heard, we are seeing unemployment falling consistently in the north of England as a sign of how the economy there is going as well as anywhere else in the country. We are determined to continue that."

Speaking afterwards, Mrs Cummins also said she feared for the future of the plans for a high-speed rail link between Leeds and Manchester, dubbed Northern Powerhouse Rail.

She said: "These are serious claims about important projects. The significance and value of these projects to the economic prosperity of Bradford and the rest of the region cannot be underestimated.

“We need a clear answer on what the Government intends. These projects, and the economic regeneration of the north, must stop being used as political footballs.

“After the 2015 general election electrification was put on hold despite being repeatedly promised by the Government during the campaign. The same has now happened after the 2017 general election.

“We need the Prime Minister and her ministers to commit to real investment, not hollow promises.”