Speaking during the parliamentary debate on the Government’s proposals to bring regional select committees into the House of Commons yesterday, John Redwood strongly criticised plans to introduce yet another unnecessary lawyer of bureaucracy and the attempts to divide England into unwanted regions.
The full text of John Redwood’s contribution to the debate, taken from Hansard, follows:
Mr. John Redwood (Wokingham) (Con): What part of “no” does the Leader of the House not understand following the referendum result in the north-east on elected regional government? Does she not understand that the people of England do not want to be balkanised and regionalised at their own expense?
Ms Harman: We are not proposing to the House what was proposed in the north-east.
Mr. Redwood rose—
Ms Harman: If the right hon. Gentleman will allow me, I can get on and explain what our proposals are.
Mr. Redwood: Does my right hon. Friend understand that the Labour Government seem to have this awful fear of England? They devolved power to Wales and to Scotland, but they will not devolve any power to England. Instead, they want to break it up.
Mrs May: My right hon. Friend’s point leads neatly into my next comment, which is that the unwritten intention behind the Prime Minister’s proposal was to find a solution to the West Lothian question. The message we should send clearly to the Leader of the House is that whatever else the expensive new structure will do, it will not answer the West Lothian question.