Ed Miliband: Labour would introduce nine regional ministers to devolve Westminster's power

 

Political Editor

The network of “regional ministers” would form part of Ed Miliband’s drive to devolve power from Whitehall and bridge the north-south divide. They would champion their areas and supervise plans to transfer £20 billion to “city regions” over five years for council and business leaders to spend on job creation, housing and transport projects.

Ministers would be appointed for London; the South East; South West; West Midlands; North East; North West; Yorkshire and Humber; East Midlands and the Eastern region. They would sit on a new “regional committee,” based in the Cabinet Office, designed to give the regions a powerful voice in government and ensure policies were not skewed towards London and the South East.

David Cameron scrapped regional ministers after the 2010 election, although he has a “minister for cities” and appointed Michael Fallon, a Business and Energy minister, as “Minister for Portsmouth” in January after shipbuilding job cuts were announced there. Under Labour, the regions would be represented by ministers with other departmental jobs who would normally have links with the area.

The new ministers would seek to attract private sector investment to their areas and ensure bids for schemes such as the Regional Growth Fund met the Government’s objectives to improve their chance of success. They would develop an industrial strategy to encourage “ key sectors” in their areas and create “the jobs of the future”.

The move was announced by Michael Dugher, the shadow Cabinet Office Minister. He told the IPPR think tank: “Regional ministers will put the voice of the English regions at the heart of Labour decision-making. They will help to shape policy around local and regional interests with a view to correcting the regional inequalities that have arisen under the Tories.”

He said Labour believed that economic growth in the regions had to be driven and coordinated by initiatives at a regional level rather than by central government.

Mr Dugher accused Mr Cameron of neglecting the regions since abandoning the “One Nation Conservatism” he espoused before becoming prime minister. He claimed: “David Cameron now clings to the outdated ideology of ‘trickle-down’ economics - a model whereby growing prosperity of a few at the top eventually benefits others, in spite of growing inequalities between classes, ages and regions.”

Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
ebooks
ebooksA celebration of British elections
  • Get to the point
2015 General Election
May2015

Poll of Polls

Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: Senior Digital Marketing Consultant

£28000 - £45000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A Senior Digital Marketing Cons...

Recruitment Genius: Assistant Stores Keeper

£16640 - £18500 per annum: Recruitment Genius: An Assistant Stores Keeper is r...

Recruitment Genius: Claims Administrator

£16000 - £18500 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is an excellent opportunit...

Recruitment Genius: Software Developer - C# / ASP.NET / SQL

£17000 - £30000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Developer required to join a bu...

Day In a Page

'It was first time I had ever tasted chocolate. I kept a piece, and when Amsterdam was liberated, I gave it to the first Allied soldier I saw'

Bread from heaven

Dutch survivors thank RAF for World War II drop that saved millions
Britain will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power - Labour

How 'the Axe' helped Labour

UK will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power
Rare and exclusive video shows the horrific price paid by activists for challenging the rule of jihadist extremists in Syria

The price to be paid for challenging the rule of extremists

A revolution now 'consuming its own children'
Welcome to the world of Megagames

Welcome to the world of Megagames

300 players take part in Watch the Skies! board game in London
'Nymphomaniac' actress reveals what it was really like to star in one of the most explicit films ever

Charlotte Gainsbourg on 'Nymphomaniac'

Starring in one of the most explicit films ever
Robert Fisk in Abu Dhabi: The Emirates' out-of-sight migrant workers helping to build the dream projects of its rulers

Robert Fisk in Abu Dhabi

The Emirates' out-of-sight migrant workers helping to build the dream projects of its rulers
Vince Cable interview: Charging fees for employment tribunals was 'a very bad move'

Vince Cable exclusive interview

Charging fees for employment tribunals was 'a very bad move'
Iwan Rheon interview: Game of Thrones star returns to his Welsh roots to record debut album

Iwan Rheon is returning to his Welsh roots

Rheon is best known for his role as the Bastard of Bolton. It's gruelling playing a sadistic torturer, he tells Craig McLean, but it hasn't stopped him recording an album of Welsh psychedelia
Russell Brand's interview with Ed Miliband has got everyone talking about The Trews

Everyone is talking about The Trews

Russell Brand's 'true news' videos attract millions of viewers. But today's 'Milibrand' interview introduced his resolutely amateurish style to a whole new crowd
Morne Hardenberg interview: Cameraman for BBC's upcoming show Shark on filming the ocean's most dangerous predator

It's time for my close-up

Meet the man who films great whites for a living
Increasing numbers of homeless people in America keep their mobile phones on the streets

Homeless people keep mobile phones

A homeless person with a smartphone is a common sight in the US. And that's creating a network where the 'hobo' community can share information - and fight stigma - like never before
'Queer saint' Peter Watson left his mark on British culture by bankrolling artworld giants

'Queer saint' who bankrolled artworld giants

British culture owes a huge debt to Peter Watson, says Michael Prodger
Pushkin Prizes: Unusual exchange programme aims to bring countries together through culture

Pushkin Prizes brings countries together

Ten Scottish schoolchildren and their Russian peers attended a creative writing workshop in the Highlands this week
14 best kids' hoodies

14 best kids' hoodies

Don't get caught out by that wind on the beach. Zip them up in a lightweight top to see them through summer to autumn
Robert Fisk in Abu Dhabi: The acceptable face of the Emirates

The acceptable face of the Emirates

Has Abu Dhabi found a way to blend petrodollars with principles, asks Robert Fisk