At yesterday's statement on English Votes for English Laws I asked about the over-centralisation of powers in London and the need for more meaningful control in the regions.
Mr Ben Bradshaw (Exeter) (Lab): Does the Leader of the House accept that the sense of disillusionment with the over-centralisation of our politics and economy in London and the south-east is as keenly felt in regions such as the south-west of England as it is in Scotland? What the people of cities like mine want is more meaningful control over their own affairs, not some political stitch-up by Westminster politicians which is being rushed in this way by the right hon. Gentleman.
Mr Hague: I agree with what the right hon. Gentleman has said, apart from the partisan element of it. People do want more control over their own affairs. That is the way of the 21st century, and the Government are delivering it, although there is much more to do. The new general power of competence for local authorities, the devolving of planning functions to neighbourhoods, community rights to bid, local referendums, business rate retention by local authorities, city deals and growth deals are all in operation now. My Government colleagues and I want those policies to continue, so that there can be a greater degree of truly local control.