TALKING about the House of Lords moving to York as part of the ‘leveling up’ process is just an ‘entertainment’ tactic, said Labor MP for York for York Central Rachael Maskell.
Speaking to Times Radio this morning, Michael Gove again raised the prospect of the House of Lords leaving London as an example of what leveling could entail.
The Leveling Up secretary told Times Radio: “We have our friends in the House of Lords who will have to leave their current building, for the time being, because of the refurbishment of the Palace of Westminster.
“I think it would be a very good thing if the House of Lords met at least part of the time in Glasgow or York. I think it would do us all good.”
York City Council leader Keith Aspden today welcomed the fact that moving the Lords to York, even temporarily, seemed to be back on the agenda.
“As Liberal Democrats, we have long called for the House of Lords to be reformed to ensure that those who scrutinize legislation passed in the House of Commons are also directly elected. We will continue to call for any proposals that arise. strive to make Westminster political power structure more representative and devolved, to move forward, ”he said.
“The retention of the option to temporarily move the House of Lords on the government’s agenda is welcome.”
Cllr Aspden added that his authority continued to work with government officials and development partners at the huge York Central site behind the station to ‘secure the opportunity to bring in more better paying and skilled jobs to York, both via a new government center as well as Great British Rail’s new headquarters.
“The continued interest in transferring important government functions to York Central really demonstrates the quality of the site, which has been recognized as one of the most significant brownfield sites in the country,” he said.
But Labor MP Ms Maskell said Mr Gove’s Lords comment was just another example of the government desperately trying to distract from the party’s shenanigans at No 10.
“We know the House of Lords is going to stay in Westminster,” she said. “The government just wants to distract the public from what is happening in Downing Street.”
Mr Gove was touring the news outlets this morning discussing his ‘upgrading’ white paper published this morning.
The document outlines 12 ‘missions’ which aim to provide better treatment for ‘forgotten and deprived’ communities, many of which are in the north of England, including promising a devolution deal for ‘every part of England that want one”. .
Other “missions” include improving wages, employment and productivity and closing the gap between high and low performing areas; a 40% increase in R&D investment outside the Southeast by 2030; and a commitment to bringing the country’s local public transport systems closer to London standards.
But Labor dismissed the plan as ‘more slogans’ with ‘few new ideas’.
Ms Maskell said there was very little substance in the white paper. York, with one of the worst cost of living crises in the country and a glut of rental properties driving up both rents and the cost of buying a home, needed more than just words, she said.
“We need a social housing revolution.”
Conservative MP for York Outer Julian Sturdy, however, welcomed the white paper, seeing it as “evidence that the Government remains serious about delivering on one of the most important commitments made to the British public in the last election. “.
Mr Sturdy added: “While it is important to focus on decentralization and major infrastructure, I would urge Michael Gove not to overlook the bread and butter projects which are vital to local economic growth. projects like York Central which is shovel-ready and will bring 6,500 new, high-value jobs to the city. With this focus, we will start to see some benefits of the near-term upgrade strategy.”