Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

We Will Fight to Protect You from Unfair Cuts - and We Want to Bring HS2 to Newcastle

Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

We Will Fight to Protect You from Unfair Cuts - and We Want to Bring HS2 to Newcastle

Article excerpt

Byline: Rachel Wearmouth Regional Affairs Reporter rachel.wearmouth@ncjmedia.co.uk

LABOUR leader Ed Miliband says his party wants to bring high-speed rail to Newcastle and has pledged protect Tyneside public services from cuts.

In an exclusive interview with The Chronicle, he also said he would focus on a devolution deal that would create jobs in the private sector and said leaving the EU would be a "disaster".

But the man who would be our next Prime Minister said he would not make "false promises" to dual the A1.

Mr Miliband pledged the North East would get devolved powers under a Labour government and rejected the argument that a rejection of a regional assembly ten years ago was evidence power should stay in Whitehall's hands.

He said: "I think we have to listen to the people of the North East and I think people do want power and that is what a Labour government is going to deliver.

So, whether it is more power over bus services and transport or skills and economic development, England is too centralised.

"If it is good enough for Scotland to have devolution then we should have devolution to the North East and across England and I think that is what we will deliver."

He dismissed the takeover of East Coast Main Line by Inter City Railways as "Tory dogma" but stopped short of a commitment to return the line from Edinburgh to London to the public sector. He said: "It is really important that we make sure HS2 happens, and that is a commitment of ours."

Asked if they would bring high speed rail up to Newcastle, he said: "We want to do that, yes."

He added: "On East Coast, we have seen a situation where it has done well in the public sector. It has been a success, but the Government is privatising it. Now that's dogma. It is just dogma. I think it is wrong.

"We want to see a railway that actually works for people whether it is public or private sector." He added: "We know the A1 is a really important issue and we are doing a spending review and looking at what can be done.

"We're not going to make false promises, but we know the priority this has. We know how important it is and we want to get it right. …

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