Let me follow up the question asked by my namesake, my hon. Friend David Wright. The Leader of the
House might recall that two or three weeks ago I asked for a debate on unemployment in the north-east, but he was somewhat dismissive, in his usual courteous and gracious way, about the impact of Government policies on jobless totals in my region. Given yesterday’s publication of figures showing that 4,678 people in Hartlepool are unemployed—a rise of nearly 10% year on year—and that the north-east is still the worst region in the country for unemployment, will he rethink his position, and may we have an urgent debate on unemployment in Hartlepool and the north-east?