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Labour promises devolution to English regions

Words: Laura Edgar

The Labour Party has unveiled proposals to devolve London style-powers to regulate public transport in towns and cities in England as part of its local election campaign.

Labour took a London Routemaster bus to the campaign launch in Leeds, where shadow cabinet members and Labour council leaders joined deputy leader Harriet Harman.

Plans include ending bus deregulation. Shadow transport secretary Michael Dugher said the party would devolve and reform subsidies. “If regulation is good enough for London, it should be good enough for every other region too.”

Additionally, shadow ministers Hilary Benn, Chris Leslie and Chuka Umunna promised that Labour would deliver England’s biggest level of devolution for 100 years, pledging £30 billion of funding for the regions.

Harman said: “Labour understands that Britain only succeeds when working people succeed, and devolving power is key.

"Labour brought devolution to Scotland, Wales, Northern Ireland and London and today we pledge to continue on this journey to devolve power to England.”

Communities secretary Eric Pickles said that with the Conservatives in government, “Labour’s unelected regional quangos” have been scrapped, while local councils have been “empowered to support jobs and growth”.