European Affairs

Part of Business of the House – in the House of Commons at 3:11 pm on 3rd June 2010.

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Photo of Simon Hughes Simon Hughes Liberal Democrat, Bermondsey and Old Southwark 3:11 pm, 3rd June 2010

It is a pleasure to follow Catherine McKinnell, who made a very feisty and savvy contribution. She was clear on the importance of Newcastle and the support that the north-east and its great capital city need.

I made a mistake in the last year. I thought that my colleagues were talking about amending regional development agencies, but I had had clear instructions for months that One NorthEast should continue. I heard from my right hon. Friend the Business, Innovation and Skills Secretary today that One NorthEast will continue, and I hope the hon. Lady will be reassured by that- [ Interruption. ] RDAs may be different in structure, but the message is clear. My right hon. Friend Sir Alan Beith has also been very clear on that. Through the pages of the Newcastle Journal or otherwise, I hope there can be collaboration on ensuring that Newcastle continues to do well. I know that my colleagues who run the council are equally determined to ensure that every possible opportunity is given to the hon. Lady's great city, and I will give it my support. I have been there often and love it much, even though those of us who ended up in the south have to put more clothes on all year round than people in Newcastle.

I also congratulate Alison McGovern. We have two things in common. As she knows, we were both born in Cheshire-

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