"Desolate" North-East comment was the moment Tory mask slipped, says Miliband (From The Northern Echo)
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"Desolate" North-East comment was the moment Tory mask slipped, says Miliband
THE moment when a Tory peer called for fracking in the “desolate” North-East was when the “mask slipped”, the Labour leader said.
Mr Miliband seized on the notorious comment – by Lord Howell, George Osborne’s father-in-law – to attack the Conservatives and stress his dedication to a Labour heartland.
He said: “Every so often the mask slips, doesn’t it.
“A man they call Lord Howell said it was wrong to frack in some areas, but it was okay in others.
“It was okay in the North-East of England because he said it was “full of desolate and uninhabited areas. In one casual aside, dismissing one whole region of the country.
“Let’s tell these Tories about the North-East of England and every other part of Britain. People go out to work. They love their kids. They bring up their families.
“They care for their neighbours. They look out for each other. They are proud of their communities. They are proud of their communities. They hope for the future.
“The Tories call them inhabitants of desolate areas. We call them our friends, our neighbours, the heroes of our country.
“They are fed up of a government that doesn’t understand their lives and a Prime Minister who cannot walk in their shoes. We are Britain, we are better than this.”
In a Lords debate, Lord Howell shocked fellow peers when he said there was “plenty of room” for shale gas drilling in the North-East – although he later said he had meant the North-West.
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