19321North East Mayoral Candidate and LEP Board Member Jeremy Middleton has called on North East Council Leaders to ratify the North East Devolution Deal, ahead of tomorrow’s crunch meeting, where Combined Authority leaders will make their decision on it.

Mr Middleton said: “This decision is absolutely vital for the future of the North East, it is our chance to start bringing political powers back to the region and decide how our money is best spent. When Labour MPs tried to turn the devo-deal into a political football, what they did not understand was that it is the start of the process, and that if it works out many more powers and budgets can be devolved.

“The people of the North East know best what we need from our NHS, education and public services. Local businesses know best what needs to be done to bridge the skills gap and create the jobs our region needs. The choice here is between decisions about the North East being made here or in Westminster. If Scotland, Wales, Manchester and Sheffield can handle this level of responsibility, so can we.”