Jeremy Middleton, self-made businessman and North East mayoral candidate

North East mayoral candidate Jeremy Middleton has hit back at Darlington MP Jenny Chapman, calling her disparaging remarks about the Northern Powerhouse “deeply inappropriate”. Ms Chapman made her comments at a Westminster Hall debate on the impact of local government funding cuts in the North East.

Last month Mr Middleton announced his intention to run for the devolved North East Mayoralty, which includes County Durham, Northumberland, and Tyne and Wear.

Mr Middleton said: “Jenny Chapman’s comments are deeply inappropriate, she chose to talk down the North East rather than highlight all of the positive things happening here. She needs to realise that local council and the economy aren’t the same thing. Nobody denies that bringing public spending under control has been hard, but it’s only fair that the workers and small businesses who are the backbone of our economy aren’t simply working to service an ever growing national debt.

“The Northern Powerhouse is a once in a lifetime opportunity to bring devolved powers to the North East, and to rebalance the economy with increased investment in jobs and infrastructure, so we can compete with London and the South. It’s something we should embrace. We’ve had a raw deal for too long, and now that devolved powers and transport spending are just around the corner, Jenny and her fellow MPs have chosen to talk us down and defend the status quo, they’ve chosen to engage in party political point scoring when they should be working with the government to bring businesses and jobs to the area.”

ENDS

ISSUED ON BEHALF OF MIDDLETON ENTERPRISES

CONTACT: Chris Rowell on 01325 363436

Notes to Editors:

Jeremy Middleton

Mr Middleton is a self-made businessman and philanthropist based in the North East. He has been a Board Member of the North East Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP) since 2011 and is Chairman of the North East LEP Investment Fund, which makes recommendations to the LEP Board for the £25m Growing Places Fund and the £30m Infrastructure Fund.

Mr Middleton has carried out a range of sponsored fundraising for a variety of charities which to date include the North Pole, Mount Kilimanjaro, Mont Blanc, The Haute Route, Mount McKinley, Mount Elbrus and a cycle ride from London to Paris.

In 2012 Jeremy was awarded a CBE in the Queen's Birthday Honours List for Services to Politics and Charities.

The Northern Powerhouse

There are three pillars to the Northern Powerhouse, devolution, transport and rebalancing the economy.

  • Both the North East and Tees Valley LEP areas have signed devolution deals with the government, granting them an elected mayor and an investment fund.
  • The Government has created Transport for the North, to improve road and rail links between northern towns and cities.
  • Rebalancing the economy means investing in skills to improve the number and quality of jobs in the region, and working with UKTI to build on our already strong export sector.”

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Jeremy Middleton, self-made businessman and North East mayoral candidate
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