George Osborne has been slammed for trying to wipe Yorkshire off the map and, instead of proposing a fair devolution settlement for Yorkshire as a whole, creating 'Greater Leeds' and 'Greater Sheffield'.
The budget statement has revealed that Osborne, along with West Yorkshire Combined Authority Chairman Peter Box, have been busy negotiating to split Yorkshire into smaller, weaker areas, forcing areas like Bradford, Wakefield and York into 'Greater Leeds'.
Richard Carter, Leader of Yorkshire First, said:
"Barnsley, Doncaster and Rotherham are not suburbs of Sheffield. Nor are York, Wakefield and Bradford parts of Leeds. But by getting into bed with George Osborne, this is exactly the type of devolution West Yorkshire Combined Authority's Chairman Peter Box is proposing for Yorkshire.
"George Osborne and Peter Box have no mandate to wipe Yorkshire off the map. Instead of negotiating away democracy behind closed doors, Osborne and Box need to propose first rate, accountable devolution for Yorkshire.
"It's time for George Osborne to start listening to his own MEPs, people like Timothy Kirkhope, who have recognised that Yorkshire isn't just Leeds and Sheffield - it is its Dales and its Moors, its towns and its villages, its coastlines and its mountains. It's time for Mr Osborne to put forward a devolution deal that works for all of Yorkshire, rather than trying to wipe Yorkshire off the map."
Since first calling for devolution to Yorkshire as a whole in 2014, Yorkshire First's calls have been echoed by MPs & MEPs across Yorkshire, along with the Leaders of Hull, East and North Yorkshire Councils.