The Isle of Wight's MP has told the House of Commons he makes "no apology for persuading government to treat the Isle of Wight like every other island in the UK", hitting out after an angry exchange in which a Labour MP withdrew an allegation of 'corruption', aimed at the government, after a request from the Deputy Speaker of the House.

Following heated words with the Shadow Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government, the Island's Bob Seely said: "The Island is the most under-represented place in this country.

"I've twice as many constituents. We are separated by sea from the mainland and I have to fight three times as hard to get any government to listen to me.

"I make no apologies for speaking with passion and determination. I make no apologies for fighting tooth and nail."

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The argument followed a statement, made by Mr Seely about why he voted to support the Prime Minister in Monday's confidence vote.

In it, he said: "I talked again with ministers about why a fair funding package has not yet been forthcoming for the Isle of Wight Council.

"I have been assured they will look at this again and will do so in the very near future, ahead of the ongoing review of local government finance. I will keep Islanders informed."

"I would rather continue to focus on getting the Prime Minister to deliver on this commitment than start afresh with a PM who has not made, or may not offer to make, any such offer."

In the Commons, Lisa Nandy said: "I saw the member for the Isle of Wight said he had voted for the Prime Minister to keep his job after receiving assurances that there would be a funding review for his council. Can I ask the Secretary of State, did he have knowledge of this, did he sign it off?"

Ms Nandy's allegation that it was "awfully like corruption" was immediately challenged by Mr Seely, who said "there is no basis for it and it should be withdrawn".

It is a word with weighty meaning in the House.

The Deputy Speaker said: "I don't have the evidence before me of whatever words were published and whatever words have been said. 

"I would ask the honourable lady to get us over this part of the debate and we can come back to this matter at another time. Will the honourable lady please withdraw the allegation?"

Isle of Wight County Press: Boris Johnson with MP Bob Seely during a visit to the Island in 2019.Boris Johnson with MP Bob Seely during a visit to the Island in 2019.

Mr Seely said the allegation was "completely wrong" (and later slamming her speech as "pretty dire, allegations silly and her withdrawal mealy mouthed"), he said: "I said to the Prime Minister, 'Will you commit to rectifying this wrong, which is a policy flaw?' He said yes and I reminded him of that promise beforehand. So, did I ask for a bag of cash? No.

"It is completely untrue for her to say that, so she can get up now and apologise."

The promise of extra funding to reflect our Island status was made in 2019, including by Mr Johnson, after previous calls to successive governments failed to get support.

In November 2020, former Isle of Wight Council Leader Dave Stewart called again for the pledged cash, then valued at over £6m.

Settling on "I will rephrase my words" to say "this looks awfully dodgy", Wigan MP, Ms Nandy, said she had checked Mr Seely's statement online, leading the Commons Deputy Speaker, Dame Eleanor Laing, to say: “She can’t possibly be looking at her phone while I am speaking to her.”

Mr Seely also said he was proud the Island had been included in the latest round of levelling up cash - which saw money handed to East Cowes for the development of the Venture Quays building.