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Region's MPs to be given more representation

In what's thought to be a first, North East MPs will be given regular meetings with the Cities Minister Greg Clark in lieu of the region having no other representation in government.

Currently, no cabinet members (apart from William Hague in North Yorkshire) are from the North East, with the role of Regional Minister for the North East being abolished under the coalition government.

But today several Labour MPs from our region met with Mr Clark to discuss having meetings every 6 - 8 weeks, which he is said to have agreed to.

The invitation will also be open to the Tory MPs in Hexam and Stockton South, as well as the Lib Dems in Redcar and Berwick. It's thought the primary focus of the meetings will be the economy of the North East.

Syria: How did your MP vote?

MPs were recalled to Parliament yesterday to vote on whether the British military should intervene in the crisis in Syria.

The vote went against the government by a majority of 285 to 272.

The following MPs voted with the government:

  • James Wharton, Conservative, Stockton South
  • Guy Opperman, Conservative, Hexham

The following MPs voted against the government proposal, rejecting the idea of military intervention in Syria.

  • Catherine McKinnell, Labour, Newcastle upon Tyne North
  • Tom Blenkinsop, Labour, Middlesbrough South
  • Ian Mearns, Labour, Gateshead
  • Mary Glindon, Labour, North Tyneside
  • Ian Swales, Liberal Democrats, Redcar
  • Bridget Phillipson, Labour, Houghton and Sunderland South
  • Ronnie Campbell, Labour, Blyth Valley
  • Pat Glass, Labour, North West Durham
  • Julie Elliott, Labour, Sunderland Central
  • Chi Onwurah, Labour, Newcastle Central
  • Ian Lavery, Labour, Wansbeck
  • Jenny Chapman, Labour, Darlington

Full Report: MPs recalled for Syria debate

MPs from our region are debating a government motion which could pave the way for military action in Syria.

The Prime Minister told them this afternoon he is convinced the Syrian regime was behind the use of chemical weapons, including an attack which killed hundreds of people in Damascus last week.

Parliament will vote later tonight on whether to back intervention in principle, but not on direct British involvement, which would need a further vote.

Paul Brand sent this report from Westminster - watch it in full below.


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