Hull Daily Mail voices opposition to local Assembly

The Hull Daily Mail has started a campaign in direct opposition to local MP and Deputy Prime Minister John Prescott.

The Northcliffe-owned paper (circulation 78,000) reacted to the launch of the “Yes” campaign for a Yorkshire Assembly by simultaneously launching its “Vote No” campaign opposing the idea.

The paper kickstarted the campaign with a page-one comment and two pages inside where readers were given 10 good reasons to vote “no”.

Mail editor John Meehan said: “A Yorkshire Assembly would be an expensive institution which could pose a real threat to local democracy.

We do not believe it will bring power closer to the people or result in more democratic, accountable or efficient decision-making.

“We are sure it will create another costly bureaucratic tier of local government, more politicians and higher council tax bills.

“Although regional government in England has long been the dream of Mr Prescott, the proposals are still alarmingly vague. It’s incredible that people are being asked to back an assembly when the details of exactly how much it will cost, what it will do and the powers it will take from our local councils are still unknown.”

The Mail agreed to give Prescott, who is also the Hull East MP, the right to reply and printed a two-page first person piece from him.

Mail columnist Matt Stephenson has also come out in favour of a Yorkshire Assembly.

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