AN MP is to table questions in the House of Commons over what he described as the "scandalous" removal of a leading figure in the business world from the board of regional development agency One NorthEast.

Kevan Jones, Labour MP for North Durham, will question ministers over the failure to re-appoint CBI North vice-chairman Hugh Morgan Williams to the 13-strong board of the agency.

One NorthEast says the decision not to re-appoint Mr Morgan Williams, along with former Rural Development Agency chief Miles Middleton, is part of a rolling programme allowing new talent and fresh ideas to be brought in, while ensuring no one serves more than six years on the board.

But supporters of Mr Morgan Williams, regarded as one of the leading business figures in the region, have highlighted past differences between the CBI and One NorthEast.

The CBI has been critical of the performance of the agency and has argued that it should be more business and private-sector led.

Mr Jones said: "This is scandalous. Why is the voice of North-East business being taken off the board?

''It doesn't do anything to add confidence in a body which is already lacking credibility in the region."

Angus Hynd, regional director of the CBI, said: "We are concerned about the structure of the board and how appointments are made, and are asking for clarification and a bit more transparency."

Positions for the board are advertised nationally and applicants face scrutiny from, among others, agency chairman Dr John Bridge, the Department of Trade and Industry and the Government Office for the North-East.

Last night, Dr Bridge was unavailable for comment. A spokesman for the Department of Trade and Industry said they were in the process of consulting regional stakeholders on the new appointments, which will be announced on December 6.

It is understood that one of the replacements will be Tim Cantle-Jones, who was responsible for marketing the National Millennium Experience, the company that operated the Millennium Dome