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MP PROVOKES DEVOLUTION ROW

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A leading Labour campaigner to create England's first elected regional assembly outside London has attacked the gov...
A leading Labour campaigner to create England's first elected regional assembly outside London has attacked the government's devolution credentials.

Labour MP Derek Foster, a member of the North-East Constitutional Convention, raised doubts about prime minister Tony Blair's commitment to enfranchise the regions of England.

Mr Foster chose Tuesday night's national launch of the NECC's campaign at Westminster for his assault.

The former Labour Party chief whip suggested the new government so far seemed not much more use than former prime minister Margaret Thatcher's Conservatives at devolving power to the North-east.

Mr Foster's convention colleagues were later said to be 'fuming' with his attack at a time when they were working for government co-operation.
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