Catherine McKinnell, Labour MP for Newcastle North, has branded Lord Howell's comments "ridiculous and offensive" and said the Conservative peer had fundamentally misunderstood the region:
Lord Howell's comments in relation to the North East demonstrate a fundamental misunderstanding of the region, with two areas of Outstanding Natural Beauty as well as a national park.
The region is far from desolate as Lord Howell suggests, making his comments not only ridiculous but quite frankly offensive.
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