Jeremy Middleton CBE

Jeremy Middleton, the first person to announce an intention to stand to be Mayor of the North East, has suspended his campaign, following the news from the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government Sajid Javid that the region’s devolution deal is “off the table”.

The Secretary of State’s announcement came after decision of the North East Combined Authority, made up of the Labour leaders of the seven local authorities in the area, not to take the deal forward. The deal included over £1 billion of investment for the region, the creation of an elected mayor, and wide ranging powers over areas including health and infrastructure being devolved from Westminster.

Mr Javid said: ““It is with regret that we have therefore withdrawn the legislation that would have brought this deal to life, which means local people will miss out on over £1bn of investment, and new powers on transport, planning and skills.

“Handing power back to northerners is a key part of our plans to build a northern powerhouse, and our focus now will be on working to secure a new agreement for residents in those areas committed to progressing with devolution.”

Jeremy Middleton said: “This is devastating news for the North East, our local authority leaders have let us down. They have turned down billions of pounds in investment for the sake of their own careers. After so many delays it is no surprise that the Government has finally called their bluff.

“In light of this news I have made the decision to suspend my mayoral campaign but will continue to actively campaign for devolution for our region. The North East’s leaders, both in politics and business, need to concentrate on getting the best deal for the region they can. I remain committed to the belief that a mayor-led devolution is the best and most accountable way to bring powers and budgets from London to the North East.”

ENDS

ISSUED ON BEHALF OF JEREMY FOR MAYOR

CONTACT: Chris Rowell on 01325 363436

Notes to Editors:

Jeremy Middleton

Mr Middleton was the first candidate to declare they are running to be the Mayor of the North East, a position that will be created under the region’s devolution deal, and is standing as an independent.

He 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.

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Jeremy Middleton CBE
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