Wearside MP blasts Government over failure of Northern Powerhouse plan

Sharon Hodgson, MP for Washington and Sunderland West
Sharon Hodgson, MP for Washington and Sunderland West
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Wearside MP Sharon Hodgson has accused the Government of failing to deliver on its Northern Powerhouse vision in today's Queen's Speech.

Today's Queen's Speech set out a relatively modest agenda of 21 bills which focused on reforms to prison, adoption and universities and largely avoided the kind of legislation which might fuel opposition to the government in the run-up to June's referendum.

But the absence of a Sovereignty Bill in the Government's agenda for the coming year still sparked a row, with former cabinet minister and Leave campaigner Iain Duncan Smith accusing Prime Minister David Cameron of ditching the proposal - along with other key elements of the Tories' programme - in order to improve the chances of a Remain vote in the June 23 referendum.

Sharon Hodgson, MP for Washington and Sunderland West, said: "Today’s Queen Speech has proven yet again that this Tory Government lacks any vision when it comes to their legislative programme for the coming Parliamentary year and are failing to deliver on their promise of being a One Nation Government.

"Instead of investing in skills, training and infrastructure or addressing the burgeoning housing crisis engulfing our country, the Government have reannounced their hot-air Northern Powerhouse initiative – which seems to always forget about the North East – and continued to ignore the black hole in public finances after the Tories’ ultrashambolic Budget in April. None of this should of any surprise to us when this Tory Government are in disarray and divided over the upcoming EU Referendum, which has opened up old wounds for the Tory Party.

"People in this country deserve a Government that addresses issues that affect their everyday lives, rather than focusing on protecting their own backs, that is why I will be working with my Labour colleagues here in Parliament to hold this Government to account over the coming year to get the best deal possible for our country, especially the people of Washington and Sunderland West."