Greater Manchester Mayor: If Westminster Continues To Ignore The North, There'll Be A Political Crisis

16 October 2019, 17:08 | Updated: 16 October 2019, 17:52

Greater Manchester Mayor Andy Burnham said the Westminster model doesn't work any more and to stop the North feeling "hugely" alienated the government during Brexit, there needs to be a devolution of power to the regions of the UK.

He said places such as Burnley and Leigh that "didn't get the attention that they needed when the big industry was leaving in the 80s [feel] very alienated from not just Brussels but Westminster as well.

"And I think when they voted the referendum, they were making a statement about both, actually. And, you know, if now the kind of Westminster approach is to undermine what they said or sort of reinterprets it, or I think we're going to end up with it in this country with a real political crisis. It's brewing isn't it? You know, the level of alienation from Westminster is huge.

"And I would argue personally that the one of the big answers that wants to through the Brexit debate is more devolution to the English regions, more power in the hands of people in Burnley and Lee, right across the North.

This Westminster model has now reached the limits of what it can do when we need big change in my view coming out of it."

Andy Burnham: The level of alienation the North feel from Westminster is huge.
Andy Burnham: The level of alienation the North feel from Westminster is huge. Picture: PA

The caller, Paul from Burnley, said people have "felt voiceless for decades" and the referendum was the first time the regions had felt heard. He said he is "really concerned" that if the mainstream parties don't listen to regional voices and ignore the referendum result, people could turn to extremist views and actions.

The Mayor replied that he understood because he represented Leigh, the biggest town in the country without a train station.

"I used to make that point repeatedly in debates in the Commons and it took me a few years to realise that nobody in the civil service was listening.

"That whole system down there hasn't looked after the North. They haven't Liverpool and Manchester either particularly well.

"Westminster created the north south divide in our country by failing to allocate resources fairly over decades under all governments."

More Shelagh Fogarty News

See more More Shelagh Fogarty News

'Mick Lynch is inspirational': Frustrated NHS doctor says she'd strike if given the chance

'Mick Lynch is inspirational': Frustrated NHS doctor says she'd strike if given the chance

Child abuse scandal: Mother of victim reveals 'despicable' police response

'I begged for help': Mother of child abuse victim reveals 'despicable' police failings

'Panadol's my best friend': Caller says he's hired EU staff to avoid Brexit 'headache'

'Panadol's my best friend': Caller says he's hired EU staff to avoid Brexit 'headache'

Shelagh Fogarty caller 'ashamed' to say he voted for Brexit

'I just feel so much regret': Shelagh Fogarty caller 'ashamed' to say he voted for Brexit

James O'Brien blasts Ministers for boosting city fat cats' pay 'to show benefits of Brexit'

James O'Brien blasts Ministers for boosting city fat cats' pay 'to show benefits of Brexit'

Veteran journalist demands answers after Carrie Johnson story pulled

Veteran journalist demands answers after Carrie Johnson story pulled

Ex-England gymnast speaks out about abuse suffered from coach

Ex-England gymnast speaks out about abuse suffered from coach

UK's farmland being sacrificed to house 'illegal' migrants, caller fumes

UK's farmland being sacrificed to house 'illegal' migrants, caller fumes

Shelagh Fogarty warns of Grenfell fire and Hillsborough response 'parallels'

'Real parallels with Hillsborough': Shelagh Fogarty on Grenfell handling

Shelagh Fogarty clashes with caller who defends Rebel Wilson's 'outing'

Shelagh Fogarty clashes with caller who defends Rebel Wilson's 'outing'

Cigarettes could become green or warn of minutes of life lost, says smoking review leader

Cigarettes could become green or warn of minutes of life lost, says smoking review leader

Railway worker opens up to Shelagh Fogarty about plan to strike amid cost of living struggle

Railway worker opens up about plan to strike amid cost of living struggle

England legend Luther Blissett says Gareth Southgate 'wrong' on racial abuse

Ex-England star Luther Blissett says Gareth Southgate 'wrong' on racial abuse

Shelagh Fogarty argues Gareth Southgate shouldn't let racism concern influence penalty picks

Shelagh Fogarty argues Southgate shouldn't let racism concern influence penalty picks

'I'd have been tempted to boo': Shelagh Fogarty compares Jubilee-booing of Boris to former politicians

'I'd have been tempted': Shelagh Fogarty compares booing of Boris to ex-politicians

Andrew Marr: We are all Elizabethans, that's who we are

Andrew Marr: We are all Elizabethans