Letter from the Assistant Editor: Good news for the North-east that defies stereotypes


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The Independent Online

At i, we always strive to offer coverage of the whole UK, and are proud of our reporting of Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland – vital at the moment not least because the electorates of those regions could well have the casting vote on what form the British government takes after 7 May.

Then there’s English devolution and the so-called “northern powerhouse”, although as someone who hails from Liverpool I am all too aware that many feel this has become a story of “devo Manc”. Today, we report good news about the north-east of England, with new figures showing that living standards in the region have risen by a greater proportion since the recession than anywhere else in the UK. I am sure it doesn’t feel like that to everybody in the North-east. But the Resolution Foundation’s study still, I hope, counters the “grim up North” clichés that some media outlets still deploy.


Thank you very much to all of you who answered our call for suggestions on what to cover in our election “Briefing” series. Michele Taborn from Devon proposes the NHS – health correspondent Charlie Cooper is on the case – while Simon Gardiner from Southampton asks: “Defence and foreign affairs – have these fallen off everyone’s agenda?” I can assure him that they haven’t fallen off ours, and that Kim Sengupta will be briefing us all soon. Today, political editor Andrew Grice gives us the essentials on Europe. Other suggestions will also feature. Please keep the ideas coming.