England

New North East focus for former chief whip

Nick Brown
Image caption Mr Brown was the chief whip - the party manager - under Gordon Brown

Labour's former chief whip Nick Brown said he will concentrate on promoting the north-east of England after being asked to stand aside from the post.

The Newcastle East MP did not stand for re-election after the party's new leader Ed Miliband asked him not to.

He told the BBC Politics Show he feared the economic strategy for the North East was at risk from the public spending cuts.

He said he would use his time as a backbencher to continue to promote it.

Mr Brown said he had also decided not to stand for Mr Miliband's shadow cabinet.

'Abrupt halt'

He said: "I think the key problem facing our region is [that] the economic development strategy... is in danger of coming to an abrupt halt in the face of the public expenditure cuts.

"What I want to do is so spend my time in Parliament putting the case for the region."

He said he believed there should be some form of effective economic development body.

In June, it was announced regional development agency One North East, which helps support businesses and generate jobs, was being scrapped.

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