General Election 2015: A Labour government could turn to Michael Heseltine, says Chuka Umunna

Billy Ehrenberg
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Heseltine was deputy prime minister under John Major (Source: Getty)

Labour could turn to the business expertise of former Conservative deputy prime minister Michael Heseltine if it wins the election.

Speaking to the Guardian, the shadow business secretary, Chuka Umunna, said Heseltine was a “visionary” whose advice could benefit Labour’s plans for regional devolution.

Labour is expecting to set aside £30bn for devolution if it comes to power, and Umunna wants to harness Heseltine’s experience: the former minister pushed hard for regeneration projects in British inner cities back in the 1980s.

There is no denying it, a lot of people in the Labour movement are quite inspired by what he’s done in rejuvenating cities and regions.

Just because he is a Tory should not stand in the way of us working with him in the future and I very much hope to do that.

Heseltine authored a report in 2011 which recommended that George Osborne spend £49bn on devolution and add another £9bn in EU funding.

The report became part of the basis for the chancellor’s ‘Northern Powerhouse’ initiative, which fell short of the former depura PM's recommendations.

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