Cameron to hold cabinet meeting outside London

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Indy Politics

The Cabinet will turn its attention to economic growth in the regions today as the coalition Government's top team meets outside London for the first time.

Prime Minister David Cameron is keen to continue the practice of his Labour predecessor, Gordon Brown, of holding Cabinet meetings in regional centres and will gather in Yorkshire this morning.

As under the previous administration, the day will also include a series of visits by ministers related to their areas of responsibility. The exact location of the Cabinet has not yet been publicly revealed.

Downing Street said the broad theme for today's meeting was boosting regional economic activity and helping businesses grow.

In a speech last night, Mr Cameron warned that Britain had to learn to "earn its way in the world" again if it was to remain prosperous.

The Prime Minister said too many people were under a "delusion" that future prosperity was guaranteed.

Speaking to a conference of chief executives, he said the country needed to re-build its economy or risk sacrificing its seat at "the top table".

Central to that was cutting the deficit, reforming benefits and attracting new investment to the UK.

"I think too many people in this country are living under the delusion that a prosperous past guarantees a prosperous future," the premier said.

"But it isn't written anywhere that this country deserves a place at the top table."

Mr Cameron said there were three steps to deal with the problems facing the UK:

:: Making the state "live within its means", referring to the Government's deficit-reduction plans;

:: Reforming the welfare system and "making work pay";

:: Turning Britain into "a magnet for investment" and working to improve the UK's commercial interests around the world.

Labour was accused of using the regional Cabinet events to target marginal constituencies in the run up to the general election.

There was also criticism of the cost, reported to be £100,000 a time.

A Number 10 spokesman said: "Everything is going to be done to keep the cost to an absolute minimum."