By Kris Jepson
The Shadow Chancellor, John McDonnell MP, has told ITV News Tyne Tees that a Labour government would have "invested more into the North East" than the Chancellor pledged in the Autumn Budget.
He defended the four councils south of the Tyne - Gateshead, Sunderland, South Tyneside and Durham - who rejected a devolution deal last year, saying he "can understand" why those councils were "disillusioned" by the offer on the table.
Watch @krisjepson's interview with John McDonnell MP here:
On Friday Newcastle, Northumberland and North Tyneside councils signed what was described by government as a "landmark" devolution deal, which will see £600m of extra investment over 30 years north of the Tyne from 2019.
The Shadow Chancellor said "there needs to be much more investment" in the North East and he claimed he was particularly concerned more money was not pledged for North East transport and infrastructure in the Budget.
Philip Hammond MP promised a new £337 million fleet of Metro trains for Tyne and Wear and £59 million for transport improvements to be determined by the Tees Valley Mayor, Ben Houchen.
He also promised to provide £5 million to enable the South Tees Development Corporation to take ownership of the SSI Redcar steelworks site to prepare for development there. Mr McDonnell said "all of these issues now, I think in terms of local decision-making have to rely upon what local people want, simple as that. We've got to listen to local people all the time".
The Chancellor said in his Budget speech on Wednesday "the investments I have announced today back the North East with a significant cash boost for transport improvements to connect people to jobs and make journeys quicker for everybody right across the region".
Mr McDonnell said this was not enough, compared to investment in the South East.