A campaign has been launched for the north of England to become a breakaway state.
A petition by the Raise The North group calls for people from the region to band together and seek independence.
It is also urging David Cameron to ‘submit to the will of the northern people’.
The separation moves comes after an earlier petition called for the north to join with an independent Scotland.
The #TakeUsWithYouScotland hashtag soon flooded Twitter. More than 40,000 people have now signed the call-to-arms.
The latest petition, posted with the #RaiseTheNorth hashtag, reads:
“There is growing consensus that the north of England should join Scotland.
“Northern England should not ask to leave one governor, only to take on another. For as long as the south has ruled, we have been subjugated and marginalised.
“But the answer is not to allow ourselves to be ruled from Scotland. The Scots may help, but they can’t do it for us.
“It’s time that the people of the north stood as one against Westminster and said ‘no more’.”
Signatory Valerie Quigley wrote:
“It is time for the north of England to get their say. They have suffered from the same democratic deficit as Scotland for many years.
“North England self-government would benefit the area and could make good neighbours and agreements cross-border with Scotland.”
On the back of the Scottish independence referendum there have been growing calls for English devolution.
Places like Greater Manchester will soon have its own directly elected mayor; control of its entire £6bn NHS budget, a national first; and greater control over housing, transport and skills.
But the Raise The North group wants more, with the whole of the north of England breaking away and gaining independence.
At the last general election the North East was one of the few areas in England where support for the Labour party, which fought against Mr Cameron’s Tory government, actually went up.
With the highest unemployment rate in the country and many people either working in the under threat public sector or relying on benefits to boost poor salaries, there have been fears the region is missing out on what has been described as the economic upturn in the country.
Source – Newcastle Evening Chronicle, 19 May 2015
The number of housing benefit claims made in the North East has almost doubled since 2010, an analysis of Government data has shown.
The Labour Party says low pay and soaring housing costs have led to the sharp rise, and criticised the Tories for allowing the benefits bill to escalate.
Labour’s Shadow Secretary for Work and Pensions, Rachel Reeves said the cost of housing benefit has risen to £1.3bn since 2010.
While London saw the highest rise in the country at 52%, the North East was a close second with 48%.
Catherine McKinnell, Labour’s parliamentary candidate for Newcastle North said:
“This government has been content to build an economy based on low paid jobs. Our region has seen a huge increase in the number of working people forced to claim in work benefits to pay housing costs.
“This isn’t the way to build prosperity for the long-term. Labour has a better plan for the North East and will boost pay by increasing the minimum wage to £8 an hour, and by cutting taxes for working people with a lower 10p starting rate.”
While the region still has the highest unemployment rate in the country at 8%, with 103,000 people out of work, the number out of work fell by 15,000 on the previous quarter, representing a general trend.
But Ms Reeves added the quality and pay of jobs was damaging the economy and regions like the North East.
She said: “Since 2010 David Cameron has failed to tackle low pay and high housing costs leading to a 36% increase in the number of working people claiming housing benefit.
“And another five years of Tory failure to tackle high housing costs and low pay will lead to a 20% increase in the number of working people claiming housing benefit, costing £1.3bn. David Cameron’s failure to tackle housing benefit shows the Tory plan is failing.
“Labour has a better plan to control the housing benefit bill and tackle the root causes of rising spending; low pay and high housing costs. A Labour government will raise the national minimum wage to £8 an hour before 2020, give tax rebates to firms who pay a Living Wage and build at least 200,000 homes a year by 2020.”
Source – Newcastle Evening Chronicle, 10 Apr 2015