MANY in the North-East were yesterday left asking “where’s our money?” after Theresa May struck a deal with the DUP to form a minority Government – which will see £1bn in new funding for Northern Ireland.

Sedgefield MP Phil Wilson last night warned that North-East taxpayers would end up subsidising the deal and accused the Prime Minister of “saving her own skin” in order to stay in power.

He said: “She (Theresa May) can find enough money to keep herself as Prime Minister, but when it comes to real people’s need she is left wanting.

“When they want, the Tories spend money to preserve their own skins but they are not prepared to spend that money in County Durham and the wider North-East where it is needed.

“Especially with Brexit coming through all the money the region got in subsidies and grants is going to dry up, who is going to compensate us for that?”

A spokesman for the Taxpayers’ Alliance said: “If this money is to be spent it should be spent on a need basis, rather than politicians trying to benefit their situation.”

Even the normally restrained North East Chamber of Commerce, which represents hundreds of businesses in the region, questioned the rationale and spoke of “short-term political expediency”.

Its head of policy, Jonathan Walker, said: “Businesses in our region will be paying close attention to the Government’s decision to award such large sums towards infrastructure in Northern Ireland and the rationale for it.

“The North-East continues to operate on infrastructure that has suffered from decades of under-investment.

“We’d hope that this announcement is a sign that Government recognises that regional infrastructure spending will pay back with substantial economic benefits.

“We now need to see that logic applied more widely to give a balance of investment across the country based on economic needs and potential, not one based on short term political expediency.”

Ed Cox, director of political think-tank IPPR North, said England’s regions also needed funding in order to unlock their potential and it was not just about getting a fair share.

There was support from Conservative Ben Houchen, the Tees Valley Mayor, who said the agreement would give the Government the certainty it required to deliver devolution in the region.

He said: “More than £460m will be available to us over the next four years and I promise to invest it on local priorities which give people the skills they need, and the jobs our area needs.”