Liverpool's cheeky honour for Heseltine

Oliver Wright
Monday 12 March 2012 01:00

Labour councillors in Liverpool will this week mischievously honour the former Conservative minister, Lord Heseltine, by awarding him the freedom of the city in recognition of his services in helping to regenerate Merseyside.

The award comes as the national Labour party accuses David Cameron and George Osborne of betraying Lord Heseltine's legacy by rejecting calls for an active government approach to supporting business and regeneration.

In a speech in Liverpool today, Chuka Umunna, the shadow Business Secretary, will praise the "minister for Merseyside" and contrast his approach to that of the Coalition.

"The biggest roadblocks to reform and the adoption of an active government strategy are the Prime Minister and the Chancellor because, for ideological reasons, they simply do not buy into the idea of government activism," he will say.

Lord Heseltine advises the Government on business policy and has an office in Vince Cable's department. But Labour claims his voice is drowned out by the Thatcherites who dominate policy in Number 10.

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