A call has been sounded for the immediate publication of the Teesworks report after government admitted receiving a draft copy in November.

In response to a question posed by MP for Middlesbrough Andy McDonald, it was revealed officials at the Department for Levelling Up and Communities received an “early working draft” of the review in late November.

Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Local Government, Simon Hoare, said the department was a “key consultee in the panel’s fact-checking process” and officials received the draft to offer “solely factual comment”.

He also said drafts had not been shared with ministers and the final report has not yet been received by the department. Commenting on social media, Mr McDonald said: “So they’ve now checked their emails and discovered the report was delivered to them two months ago.

“It’s a shame that’s had to be dragged out of them. The panel has done its work so just publish the report, tracked changes included.”

The probe was ordered by Levelling Up Secretary Michael Gove to investigate allegations surrounding the Tees Valley Combined Authority’s oversight of the South Tees Development Corporation and Teesworks joint venture. At a Business and Trade Committee hearing last week, Mr Gove said parts of inquiry will have already been seen by people in his department.

When asked about “a big fear” of interference, Mr Gove said he “can’t believe” officials would ever attempt to “dilute” it. Mr Gove was also pressed over the delays into the publication of the report.

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It came after remarks made by Labour MP for Stockton North, Alex Cunningham, in the House of Commons who noted the report was first expected last summer. Mr Gove told the committee he could not “pre-empt” the publication date of the report and expressed his hopes that it would be concluded shortly.

The development of the Teesworks site is now 90 per cent privately owned after a deal in 2021 transferred 40 per cent of shares from the South Tees Development Corporation to companies owned by developers Martin Corney and Chris Musgrave. The firm was previously a 50-50 public-private partnership.

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In the House of Commons in April, Mr McDonald made strongly-refuted claims of “industrial scale corruption” at the site. In his response to the MP’s query, Mr Hoare said these claims had included allegations of “corruption and illegality”.

Mr McDonald said he did not use the word “illegality” and insisted it had been wrongly attributed to him. Meanwhile Tees Valley Mayor Ben Houchen has strongly denied any wrongdoing at the Redcar site.

The mayor said: “It’s been seven months, it’s been an extremely comprehensive process and I’m looking forward to seeing in black and white the fact that we’ve done nothing wrong and we will be vindicated and we can get on and continue delivering jobs and investment to the region”.