Please Credit Picture:Keith TaylorJeremy Middleton, the independent candidate for Mayor of the North East slammed the Labour Party for using delay-tactics, which have moved the momentum of the Northern Powerhouse to Manchester.

Speaking after the selection of Andy Burnham as Labour’s candidate for Greater Manchester mayor, Mr Middleton said: “Once again the North East is being left behind because the region’s Labour Party is playing politics. In Manchester they have managed not only to agree and progress their devo-deal, but to select their candidate. Devolution is a big opportunity for the North East, but the delay tactics of these parochial council bosses mean it’s slipping through our fingers.

“The North East needs more jobs, more investment, and more opportunities for young people. We need to be able to control our own health and infrastructure budgets. At a time when we should be making these things a reality, the leaders of the North East councils can’t even agree to a deal, let alone select their own mayoral candidate, perhaps for fear of a ‘Jeremy Corbyn candidate’ from the left of the Labour party getting their nomination, rather than one of them.”