The Labour Government is reneging on deprived areas in the North West, it has been claimed, in the continuing row over grant aid from Europe.

North West Conservative MEP's have discovered that Government money which is need to 'match" European grants to areas in need, is being withheld by Labour. This means that much needed improvement schemes and job creating projects will not go ahead.

Speaking in Brussels today, the MEP's said, 'It is totally outrageous that the Government has firstly removed many local areas in the North West from its Assisted Areas map, but now those areas which remain are finding it difficult to get European money because they are withholding the necessary resources from the Treasury in order for projects to go ahead.

The Government is not only breaking faith with its own policy of assisting deprived areas, but what is more important, the future regeneration of many of our poorest parts of the region is now threatened.

We are writing to the Prime Minister to demand an explanation of this apparent 'U-Turn', but we expect it will be the usual response from Mr. Blair - all talk and no action."

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