We’ll hand over power to communities, pledge Labour in Leeds

Hilary Benn and Harriet Harman at the launch of Labour's local government campaign at The Tetley Gallery, Leeds
Hilary Benn and Harriet Harman at the launch of Labour's local government campaign at The Tetley Gallery, Leeds
  • Cities ‘will not have to choose elected mayors’
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HILARY BENN promised a Labour government would hand powers to communities across England as the party launched its council election campaign in Leeds today

The Shadow Local Government Secretary said there was a “tide flowing” across the country in favour of shifting power away from London.

Harriet Harman on a London bus at the launch of Labour's local government campaign at The Tetley Gallery, Leeds. Picture by Tony Johnson

Harriet Harman on a London bus at the launch of Labour's local government campaign at The Tetley Gallery, Leeds. Picture by Tony Johnson

The party repeated its pledge, first set out in Leeds last year, to put £30 billion of Government spending under control over local councillors.

Mr Benn criticised the Conservatives’ “piecemeal” approach to devolution which has seen deals to move powers and money from Whitehall to South and West Yorkshire.

Shadow Chief Secretary to the Treasury Chris Leslie promised areas would not have to choose a particular council system, such as an elected mayor, to take more control over their own affairs.

A string of Shadow Cabinet members were at The Tetley, in Leeds, today to launch the party’s campaign for this year’s council elections.

Hilary Benn at the launch of Labour's local government campaign at The Tetley Gallery, Leeds.

Hilary Benn at the launch of Labour's local government campaign at The Tetley Gallery, Leeds.

Voters across Yorkshire will have the chance to vote for their local council as well as in the General Election on May 7,