Liz Truss is Telegraph readers’ overwhelming choice for prime minister

The average house price in the town was £528,459 at the end of last year, compared with a national average of £271,000.

The gaffe prompted criticism from top Tories, including Lord Goldsmith of Richmond Park, who said that it was “one of the weirdest – and dumbest – things I’ve ever heard from a politician”.

Jake Berry, the chairman of the Northern Research group of Conservative MPs, accused Mr Sunak of “boast[ing] about trying to funnel vital investment away from deprived areas”.

“He says one thing and does another – from putting up taxes to trying to block funding for our Armed Forces and now leveling up,” he said.

Mr Sunak told The Telegraph that the furore was “very, very straightforward to clear up” and there was “not a problem at all” if the public examined his record in government.

“What that was about was about the way the Government identifies areas that are deprived and then allocates funding according to need and the way they did that until recently was very outdated and it wasn’t reflective of the actual need in areas,” he said .

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