The campaign starts now for real power for the North of England, says Greater Manchester’s most senior politician.
Police and Crime Commissioner Tony Lloyd has reiterated his call for devolved powers for the English regions following the result of the Scottish Independence referendum.
Yesterday 55 per cent of Scots voted ‘no’ to independence from the UK, in a historic referendum.
But Scots are now set to get greater devolved powers. Tony Lloyd is urging everyone across the North to join the campaign for regional devolution to the North, to give the region a greater democratic voice and free it from the shackles of centralised decision-making.
Tony said: “It’s a day of relief for many across the UK – myself included – but also one of emotion. More unites us than divides us. This United Kingdom of ours means we stand strong together.
“But now Westminster must not only deliver on its promises for greater powers for Scotland, but also give the North a fair and proper deal.
“Successive governments have failed the North of England for too long. Labour has often taken the North for granted and the Tories simply do not understand or care about the North.
“There’s been lots of political commentary about an English parliament but what we really need is devolvement for the North. The campaign for that starts now.
“Without meaningful devolved powers we risk being strangled by a confident and powerful Scotland, and a London that drains the rest of the country in pursuit of its own success.
“I am concerned that there has been a lot of commentary about an English parliament. That means decisions about Greater Manchester will be decided by the Home Counties. We deserve more than what would be, in effect, colonial rule over the North. London has to realise that the North will not be fobbed off.
“Scotland made a one-in-a-generation choice yesterday – now it’s our turn. We must seize this opportunity to make our case for the North to have a greater democratic voice as that is the key to our success for the future.
“Let’s make our voice heard.”
Tony is backing the Manchester Evening News campaign calling for devolved powers for the regions.