Screen Shot 2016-03-28 at 22.06.46Following the North East Combined Authority delaying its decision on the North East Devolution Deal, LEP board member and Mayoral Candidate Jeremy Middleton has called on Combined Authority leaders to ignore vested interests go ahead with the deal.

Mr Middleton said “This delay means there is a very real risk that the North East will be left behind again. It is clear that despite the best intentions of the region’s local authority leaders, they are not able to overcome divisions in the Labour Party.

“Certain politicians, the same ones that have held the North East back for decades, are now prepared to turn down this opportunity of more power and investment for our region. The deal means bringing these things back from Westminster, not taking them from local councils. It seems some local councillors would rather leave political and spending powers hundreds of miles away in London, if devolution could result in them going to someone else in the North East.

“The council leaders need to have the courage of their convictions, to go through with the deal they signed and stand up to the factions in their own party pressuring them to do otherwise. I’m calling on them to ignore the internal Labour party divisions and secure this deal and do what is right for the North East.”