Struggling towns across the UK will receive a share of £1.6 billion to reduce the impact of Brexit, the government has announced.

Around £1bn of the funding will be assigned to certain towns on a need basis, while communities will be able to bid on the remaining £600 million. More than half of the fund will go to towns in the North and the Midlands.

Labour criticised the move, describing it as a bribe for Leave-supporting MPs to support Theresa May's Brexit deal. Shadow chancellor John McDonnell said the fund "smacks of desperation from a government reduced to bribing MPs to vote for their damaging flagship Brexit legislation".

However, Housing and Communities Secretary James Brokenshire said the fund would be provided regardless of whether or not MPs support the withdrawal agreement.

Speaking to the BBC, he said: "This funding is there regardless of the outcome, but obviously we want to see a deal happening, we believe that is what is in the best interests of our country."

None of the £1bn already allocated will go to towns in Scotland, Wales or Northern Ireland, a move heavily criticised by MPs representing those countries.

The Prime Minister responded: "Communities across the country voted for Brexit as an expression of their desire to see change - that must be a change for the better, with more opportunity and greater control.

"These towns have a glorious heritage, huge potential and, with the right help, a bright future ahead of them."

MPs heavily rejected May's deal in January and has promised another 'Meaningful Vote' on or before 12 March.