North ‘needs same powers as Scotland’

Linda Riordan MP
Linda Riordan MP
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A LABOUR MP claims that the North will only fulfil its potential if it receives the same devolution powers enjoyed by Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.

Writing in today’s Yorkshire Post, Halifax MP Linda Riordan warns that Yorkshire and the surrounding area faces the “increasing prospect of being caught between the dominant South and the increasingly confident and muscle-flexing Scotland”.

Even though it is 10 years since John Prescott’s regional government plan was rejected by residents of the North-East, Ms Riordan admits that the blueprint put forward by the then Deputy Prime Minister was “timid” and the issue needs to be reconsidered.

She also believes that the status quo is not an option, irrespective of the outcome of Scotland’s independence vote.

“This is not about creating new powers. It is about transferring them from London. It is about creating jobs for the people of the North, not about creating jobs for the boys. It is about bridging the gap between Scotland and London, not pushing it further away,” adds Ms Riordan.

“The North needs a voice, a new radical approach to how we conduct our politics in the region. For us to tap into the rich potential in our region, we need money, power and control to flow from London. The nations of our island have been given a greater say in its affairs. It’s time the regions were handed the same opportunity. A decade from now I hope we can look back, like the people of Scotland and Wales do, and say how successful the transfer of powers has been.

“The day will come, but for the sake of the Northern regions that day needs to be sooner rather than later.”