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LABOUR LUKEWARM OVER DEVOLUTION

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Labour is set to go into the next general election with no firm timetable for devolution to the English regions, it...
Labour is set to go into the next general election with no firm timetable for devolution to the English regions, it has emerged.

But devolution campaigners, especially in the north-east and Yorkshire, are poised to redouble their efforts to strengthen the party's commitment amid fears the policy is more or less the same as in the 1997 manifesto.

Labour's National Policy Forum, meeting last weekend in Exeter, agreed the creation of elected regional assemblies in the English regions was 'the essential next step' in the programme of renewing the constitution and empowering citizens.

Amendments were accepted inserting the need to move to English devolution 'as soon as is practicable' and, under a motion from Unison, 'to allow the will of the people to be carried out as soon as possible'.

The revised policy, to be published on 20 July, also reaffirmed Labour's view of requiring a 'predominantly unitary system of local government' where regional assemblies were created.
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