Trickett declares Labour ready to oust Conservatives on debut

Jon Trickett
Jon Trickett
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JON TRICKETT told Conservative Ministers Labour was ready to drive them out of office as he made his first Commons appearance as Shadow Local Government Secretary.

The Hemsworth MP was at the despatch box for Labour at local government questions just hours after being handed the role by new party leader Jeremy Corbyn.

Local Government Secretary Greg Clark opened the session with a jibe at Mr Corbyn’s handling of his frontbench reshuffle and the number of Labour figures refusing to serve in the shadow Cabinet.

He told MPs: “Can I say how relieved I am to see their is an Opposition frontbench that is willing to serve and that has turned up today.”

But Mr Trickett hit back in his opening question to the Minister, saying: “We are ready willing and able to take the fight to his frontbench and eventually drive them from office.”

The Shadow Local Government Secretary, a former leader of Leeds City Council, also criticised the Government’s plans to devolve powers from Whitehall to areas including Yorkshire.

He said: “When it comes to devolution, the country is far too centralised and clearly, because politics isn’t working, a political imperative on all of us to seek proper devolution.

“But devolution tied to spending cuts simply does not work.”

Mr Corbyn has previously described the Government’s ‘northern powerhouse’ plan - which includes giving areas such as Yorkshire more control over areas such as transport and skills - as a “cruel deception”.

He has argued that Ministers are seeking to pass on responsibility for spending cuts to local councils.