Self-made businessman and North East Mayoral Candidate Jeremy Middleton says the “Campaign Against an Elected Mayor” group, demonstrates a lack of coherence within the Labour Party about the direction they want to take the North…

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Mr Middleton will address a rally of his own supporters on Saturday about the need for devolved powers and the benefit of an elected mayor, and will formally ask them to support his bid to be the Conservative candidate in the North East mayoral election.

The event is being held at the same time as the ‘Campaign Against an Elected Mayor’ launch. Both follow Newcastle City Council’s announcement that they will back the North East Devolution Deal, signed by Chancellor George Osborne and all seven North East Combined Authority leaders in late 2015.

Jeremy Middleton said: “A directly-elected mayor is the key to making devolution work for the North East. We need someone to unite the region, someone can speak up for us in Westminster, and make our voice heard among the other Northern Powerhouse leaders.

“The organisers of this event, whose list of speakers almost entirely consists of figures from the left-wing of the Labour party, have chosen to hold this event in the same week Newcastle’s Labour-led City Council have given the green light to the devo-deal, this is perhaps more about infighting within their party than about whether or not we have a mayor.”

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