Newspaper titles in the north of England including the Journal, Newcastle Chronicle and Manchester Evening News have joined forces to call on Westminster to devolve more powers to the north in light of the Scottish independence referendum.
Following the signing of a ‘vow’ by three main party leaders David Cameron, Nick Clegg and Ed Miliband in a bid to keep Scotland within the union, northern news titles have called on Westminster to make similar promises. The Northern Echo, Gazette and Yorkshire Post are echoing the call.
In the front page splashes of 19 September editions of the newspapers, an editorial stated the same message, reading: “In an unprecedented move by the regional press, The Journal, Northern Echo, The Yorkshire Post, Manchester Evening News, The Chronicle and The Gazette are uniting to ask the three main parties how they will ensure the North of England enjoys a fair share of that nation’s prosperity.
“And that has to include giving the North far more control over its own affairs. So our message to David Cameron, Ed Miliband and Nick Clegg is this: You made your promise to Scotland. Now that is your vow to the North?”
The three party leaders agreed on the vow to guarantee Scotland more power and control of its own affairs via a front page splash in Scotland’s Daily Record just days before the referendum.
Journal editor Brian Aitken said: “The unprecedented coming together of the great Northern newspaper brands should send a clear message to our politicians that it is vital they make sure the North does not suffer from having an economic powerhouse to the south and a far more competitive Scotland to the north.”
Jeremy Clifford, editor of the Yorkshire Post, added: “The debate over the referendum in Scotland has opened up a much wider call for increased powers for the regions.
“We are joining with newspaper titles across the north to ensure this vitally important part of England does not lose out in the aftermath of the Scotland decision.”
Scots took to the polls on 18 September to decide whether or not the country will become independent. A result is expected on the morning of 19 September, when northern newspapers will hit the stands.