I am afraid so, Minister, as one day you might find out.
I returned to my former constituency to knock on doors in Heslington in support of a former council colleague. I wondered whether the resident at the first door I knocked on might recognise me. He opened the door, gave me one look and said, “The return of the living dead.” I want to be as frank as that former constituent in my comments to the House this evening, but I also want to suggest a way forward and possible compromises and conciliation. I will also speak about the Sheffield city region deal, much diminished though it now is.
Let me start by examining a proposal that has been signed by 17 Labour and Conservative councils—when last I checked, not one had withdrawn its name. They are proposing a single mayor and a single combined authority for the areas they represent, which is perfectly in line with the current law, as the Minister has agreed in a parliamentary answer. I want to consider not what might happen in future Parliaments, but what we can achieve in this Parliament, because, representing God’s own county, we all have a responsibility to do that.