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Monday, October 4, 1999 Published at 18:33 GMT 19:33 UK

UK: Wales

Labour scorns Tory no confidence threat

West Wales and the Valleys will benefit from European funding

Labour has accused Nick Bourne, the Tory leader in the Welsh Assembly, of "amnesia" after he threatened a motion of no confidence over Objective One funding.

Mr Bourne said he would table the motion if First Secretary Alun Michael failed to deliver European funding.

BBC Wales' Political Correspondent David Cornock looks at the threat
His call came as the Conservative conference opened in Blackpool.

If parts of west Wales and the Valleys are to benefit from more than £1bn in European Objective One money, match funding needs to be found from other sources, including the Government.

There has been uncertainty over when and how this will be done for Wales and the Welsh Tory Leader issued a warning to Mr Michael.

"We want to use structural funds and will make that an issue of confidence if they are not delivered at the end of this month," said Mr Bourne

His call echoes a similar threat from Plaid Cymru but it remains unclear whether the two opposition parties are ready to co-operate to bring down the government of Wales.

[ image: Tory chief Nick Bourne: 'Confidence issue']
Tory chief Nick Bourne: 'Confidence issue'
But Labour MP Don Touhig reminded the Conservatives that then Secretary of State John Redwood had boasted in 1995 of sending millions of pounds of unspent money from the block grant back to the Treasury.

The Islwyn MP said the Tories' extreme anti-Europeanism prevented them even applying for Objective One funding.

Mr Touhig said: "We will take no lectures from a party whose ideological extremism denied this country hundreds of millions of pounds when it most needed it."

Objective One funding is the highest level of European regional aid and is granted to Europe's poorest regions.

The western part of Wales, together with the south Wales valleys, has qualified for the funding.

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