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Devolution and Growth Across Britain

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 1:47 pm on 3rd June 2015.

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Photo of Chuka Umunna Chuka Umunna Shadow Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills 1:47 pm, 3rd June 2015

The hon. Lady is absolutely right that when we look at economic devolution we should consider reform of the way banking works. I am a big fan of regional banking.

I am conscious of time and I know that many Members want to make their maiden speeches, so I will finish where I started and return to the rationale for devolution. Often, people dismiss debates such as this as not being high up the list of concerns for the public. It is true that the turnout in the referendum on whether to establish the Greater London Authority and the Mayor was just 34.6%, and that the referendum on the establishment of the Welsh Assembly was carried with just 50.3% of the vote. However, I leave this thought for hon. Members to consider: if any Government now proposed to abolish the institution of the Mayor of London, not only would my hon. Friend Ms Abbott go crazy, but there would be a public outcry. The same would be true if a Government proposed to do away with the Welsh Assembly or any of the new institutions we have set up. That reinforces my view that, when it comes down to it, people want more power, so we should ensure that they have it. For that reason, I commend our amendment to the House.