A crushing blow for Leeds today with news that the city's bid to be named 2023 European Capital of Culture has been scuppered by Brexit.
Leeds spent more than three years and hundreds of thousands of pounds of local taxpayers' money putting together an impressive bid which was formally submitted just a few weeks ago, alongside four other British entries.
But earlier today, a European Commission spokesperson said that it "would not be possible" for the UK to host the European Capital of Culture in 2023 "given that the UK will have left the EU by 29 March 2019." She added: "We believe it makes common sense to discontinue the selection process now."
Responding on behalf of the British Government, the Department of Culture, Media and Sport said: “We disagree with the European Commission’s stance and are deeply disappointed that it has waited until after UK cities have submitted their final bids before communicating this new position to us."
Whatever your views on Brexit, the European Commission's seems both calculated and cruel.
A lot of good people, in Leeds and elsewhere, put an immense amount of hard work in to show their cities in the best possible light. Their efforts also helped to bring diverse communities together for common good.
Those involved deserved so much better than this.