Junior Doctors’ Contracts

There was a really good turnout for the junior doctors demonstration in Newcastle. The Government’s approach to the proposed junior doctor contracts is completely the wrong way forward. An article in the Independent today suggests very strongly that the Tories offer of an 11% pay increase for junior doctors is actually a 26% pay cut […]

Trade Union Bill

I have spent a great deal of my time over the last month on the Trade Union Bill Committee, pulling the Bill apart piece by piece. The Bill is a major attack upon civil liberties, rights of association and right to strike. It will make it almost impossible to strike legally. It will hamper people’s […]

Localisation of Business Rates Written Question

Ian Mearns, Chair of the Backbench Business Committee To ask the Secretary of State for Communities and Local Government, what assessment he has made of the potential cumulative financial effect by 2021 on the twelve local authorities in the North East of the Government’s proposal to localise business rates Marcus Jones, Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State (Department for […]

Regional Mayor

The  Government appears to be trying to force a mayor on the region. All of us who live in the North East, in the area covered by the Combined Authority, know that it does not really hang together cohesively in its geography. The area extends from south of Barnard Castle that borders North Yorkshire, right up […]


We have a fragmented school system with maintained schools, Voluntary Aided schools, academies, free schools, grammar schools and comprehensives which are de facto secondary moderns. Education spending as a percentage of GDP is 4.7%, the lowest percentage since the Tories were in power in 1989 having been up to 6.1% in 2010 under a Labour […]