The Yorkshire Post has challenged Minister James Brokenshire to explain himself over the rejection of the One Yorkshire devolution.
And the newspaper says that the Communities Secretary, whom it said had made only one formal visit to Yorkshire, should come in person.
A leader column on (February 13, 2019) accused Mr Brokenshire of discourtesy – as local leaders were given not given any warning of his announcement, which The Yorkshire Post said came in a “perfunctory” press release and he “did not have the courage” to give the news personally in the Commons.
James Brokenshire: rebuffed One Yorkshire
The newspaper said; “When Mr Brokenshire is quoted as saying that One Yorkshire ‘does not meet our devolution criteria’, he misses a fundamental point.
“This exercise is supposed to be about communities deciding the way forward instead of the Government imposing a leadership model on a county with its best days ahead of it. Is this still the case?”
In a second opinion article, published the following day, the newspaper drew attention to the response of the Archbishop of York’s reaction to the rebuff for One Yorkshire, which the Archbishop had helped to promote.
Dr John Sentmau: We’re “better together”
“ ‘What are they afraid of? Better together!’ tweeted Dr John Sentamu from India where he is undertaking official duties. Challenging the Cabinet Minister to ‘listen to Yorkshire’s united voice’, and appealing to Yorkshire people to ‘stand firm’ against ‘those who would divide us’, the Archbishop’s steadfast support is reassuring after this week’s setback.
“One Yorkshire proponents are right to follow Dr Sentamu’s lead. Questions about this region’s future governance and growth will remain long after Mr Brokenshire has left office, and his opposition, some might say obstinacy, should not be allowed to become insurmountable when the future of over five million people is at stake.”
And on February 16, the newspaper called Mr Brokenshire “shot-sighted’, and said: “What makes the Government’s resistance to One Yorkshire so frustrating is a reluctance to match the ambition shown by political, business and community leaders.
“Some might conclude that Mr Brokenshire does not want Yorkshire to become too successful because he is also the Government’s Midlands Engine Champion …”