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Business chief accuses David Cameron of 'writing off' the North-East
THE leader of many of the region’s businesses accused David Cameron of appearing to write off the North-East – after hearing him speak at the Conservative conference.
James Ramsbotham, the chief executive of the North-East Chamber of Commerce (NECC) attended a ‘Northern Reception’, at which senior Tories discussed priorities for the 2015 general election.
But, he revealed, both the prime minister and Foreign Secretary William Hague, the Richmond MP, focused on the other Northern regions – with barely a mention of the North-East.
Mr Ramsbotham said: “Both David Cameron and William Hague paid rather more attention to the North West and to Yorkshire, than they did to the North-East.
“That was disappointing because our message is that the North-East is an asset to Britain, but we need our politicians to recognise that – for them to take notice.
“Maybe it is realistic for the Conservatives to focus more on the North West and Yorkshire, if they are less likely to win in our region, but I did think we deserved a bit more recognition.
“I was standing with a couple of people from the North-East and came away thinking we have to make sure they do take notice of us.”
The reception, to which journalists are not invited, appeared to focus on target seats in the North which the Conservatives hope to win in 2015.
The party’s position is that they believe James Wharton has an excellent chance of re-election, despite a wafer-thin majority of just 332.
However, there is no sign of the Conservatives repeating the 2010 experiment of setting up a powerful Northern Board campaigning group, with its own ability to raise and spend money.
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