A prospective MP has called the £2million awarded to Eastbourne as a “slap in the face” after those in Hastings were offered nothing when their pier was destroyed by fire in 2010.

Sarah Owen, who is set to stand for Labour in the Hastings and Rye constituency at next year's general election, added that questions would be asked about the timing of the government grant.

She said: “To have both David Cameron and George Osborne stroll into Eastbourne with £2million of taxpayer's money in their back pockets so close to a general election is going to raise questions. Many people are saying this is a blatant attempt to buy votes.”

Hastings Pier was ravaged by fire in October 2010 and has been closed ever since.

They received no funding from central government and have relied on local fundraising to get to a position where they are hoping to reopen next year.

She added: “I feel sorry for the people of Eastbourne, we know exactly what it is like for a town so reliant on tourism to go through something like that.

“I'm going to be submitting a question to Mr Cameron to ask him what the criteria was for awarding this money.

“If he doesn't answer then people will continue to ask questions.”