Rishi Sunak says people ‘not idiots’ and understand government cannot cut taxes now – UK politics live

LIVE – Updated at 15:12 Latest updates: prime minister makes remark during one of series of visits across north-east to promote levelling up funding.

Tory West Midlands mayor condemns way levelling up fund operates, saying 'bidding and begging bowl culture broken' 15:12 Andy Street, the Conservative mayor of

the West Midlands, and the most senior Tory in local government, has delivered a withering assessment of the way the levelling up fund operates. He says that most of the

bids from the West Midlands were rejected, that some of its most deprived areas lost out and that it should be for local decision makers, not Whitehall, to decide where money gets

spent. He says this shows “why Whitehall’s bidding and begging bowl culture is broken and the sooner we can decentralise and move to proper fiscal devolution the

better”. Sunak says people understand why government cannot cut taxes now because they're 'not idiots' 15:11 The most significant moment in Rishi Sunak’s

Q&A came when he said that people understand why the government cannot cut taxes now because “you’re not idiots”. It was a throwaway remark, and it came in the course

of an answer in which Sunak stressed his belief in low taxes, and his determination to cut taxes eventually, but it probably set alarm bells ringing in the No 10 media

operation. Why? Because this morning the Daily Mail splashed on a story that quoted approvingly Tory MPs who are saying Sunak should cut taxes. The Mail also has an

editorial saying it is “dismaying that the chancellor is not considering tax cuts in March’s budget”.