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Cameron 'confident' the Tories can win the North East

Prime Minister David Cameron listens to Leader of the House William Hague during the Conservative Party Conference 2014, at The ICC Birmingham. Credit: Isabel Infantes/EMPICS Entertainment

The Prime Minister says he's confident the Tories can win again the North East, as the Conservative Party conference gets into full swing in Birmingham.

He said if he had more MPs in our region, he'd promote them to the cabinet. But after mixing up the Tyne and Tees earlier this year, he refused to answer which river Middlesbrough was on.

Our Political Correspondent Paul Brand has this interview:

Redcar’s former MP coming back home in art form

Tony Blair and Mo Mowlam, after the Hallett report has revealed that Mr Blair's Northern Ireland Secretary Mo Mowlam lobbied the Government's senior law officer to ask him not to prosecute a suspect to help boost peace process negotiations in 2000. Credit: Chris Ison/PA

A portrait of Mo Mowlam, Redcar’s well-known former MP, will be coming back to her constituency of 14 years as part of a cultural education programme.

John Keane’s painting of the former Northern Ireland Secretary, currently on show in the National Portrait Gallery, has been loaned to Kirkleatham Museum until Sunday, 14th December.

The loan is part of the Making a Mark programme organised by Tees Valley Museums and the National Portrait Gallery with the aim of making local school children more aware of their local heroes and heritage as well as increasing their aspirations.

Mo, Redcar’s MP from 1987 until 2001, was regarded as a Labour Party favourite for persuading key figures in Northern Irish politics to sign the Good Friday agreement through her direct approach to politics.

Councillor Steven Goldswain, cabinet member for community safety, said: “Being able to display the portrait of Mo in the constituency she called home for 14 years is a great honour for Kirkleatham Museum and all the staff that made it possible.”

Northumberland MP votes 'No' in air strikes debate

Ronald Campbell, who represents Blyth Valley Credit: PA

Ronald Campbell, who represents Blyth Valley, voted no in today's debate over plans to join air strikes against Islamic State (IS).

The debate, which lasted more than six hours, ended with an overwhelming yes vote of 524, leaving a majority of 481.

Ronald Campbell is a British Labour Party politician who has been the Member of Parliament for Blyth Valley since 1987. He was one of the 43 who voted no.


Newcastle MP 'really sorry' as Labour MP resigns

Labour MP Rushanara Ali has resigned from the party's front bench in order to abstain from a vote on military action in Iraq.

She served as the shadow education minister and will continue to be the MP for Bethnal Green and Bow.

Her decision follows MPs voting to back Government plans to join air strikes against Islamic State (IS) in Iraq after more than six hours of debate in an emergency recall of Parliament.

The front benches of the three main parties united over the proposals, which could see the first RAF strikes within hours, and Prime Minister David Cameron's motion was carried 524 to 43, majority 481.

Chi Onwurah, MP for Newcastle Central, has tweeted her consolation to Rushanara Ali, saying it was "a tough decision with no right answer".

Youths in Darlington to have their say in Parliament

Young people in Darlington are being urged to vote on which issues are most important to them. Darlington’s Member of Youth Parliament, Danny Brown is leading a campaign to get young people in Darlington to have their voice heard in a national vote.

Young people will be given the choice of 10 pressing issues and asked to choose the one which they feel is most important to them. The votes will then be added up, and Danny, along with the other Members of Youth Parliament will decide which are the most important to raise in Parliament.

The aim is to get 1 million young people to speak out and say what matters to them, with issues as diverse as Euthanasia, youth sport funding and the living wage.

This consultation is a chance for young people to make it known what their priorities are, and to make sure the important issues are discussed in parliament. I hope that I can inspire other young people to take the chance to get involved.

– Danny Brown

Milliband will visit the North East 'many times' before General Election

Mayor of New York City Bill De Blasio (left), with Labour leader Ed Milliband, before he addresses the Labour Party conference in Manchester. Credit: Stefan Rousseau/PA

Ed Miliband has insisted the North East is a priority for his party, though he's hardly been to the region this year, and could not confirm an exact figure of how many times he has visited.

In an interview with ITV Tyne Tees, the Labour leader says he'll be back many more times before the General Election next year.

Speaking to our Political Correspondent Paul Brand, he also said he wouldn't rule out a regional assembly for the North East.

Ed Milliband, before he addresses the Labour Party conference in Manchester. Credit: Stefan Rousseau/PA

PM listens to northern concerns about devolution

PM listens to northern concerns about devolution

- Paul Brand, ITV Political Correspondent

I've just spoken to one of the MPs among the dozen or so backbenchers who met the Prime Minister to discuss concerns about the impact that devolving powers to Scotland would have on England.

James Wharton tells me that three northern MPs - himself, John Stevenson and Rory Stewart, all raised concerns with David Cameron that the north would need to compete with a more powerful Scotland.

They didn't discuss what kind of devolution was needed, but they all agreed that the north required greater powers in order to hold its own. Solutions that James Wharton floated include a regional minister for the north of England, or greater power for Local Enterprise Partnerships.

He tells me that the Prime Minister listened to the concerns and referred back to them when summing up the meeting, with MPs leaving confident about the chance of progress.

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