The former business secretary from 2008 to 2010 said there was plenty of money for the region but a lack of local power compared to plans for the Northern Powerhouse project.
Theresa May has unveiled a £556million plan to address the monetary divide between the North and South in Britain. This includes a new boost to the Northern Powerhouse project, such as a £10million cash boost to help small and medium-sized businesses in Greater Manchester and Cheshire.
Labour is facing up to a battle in Copeland and Stoke-on-Trent, following the resignations of Labour MPs Jamie Reed and Tristram Hunt.
There is a real danger Labour could lose both the elections which would be a body blow for Jeremy Corbyn.
Speaking on Newsnight, Lord Mandelson said: “We didn’t ignore the North, but we did one thing which was wrong in my view.
Lord Mandelson said Labour "didn't ignore the North"
We had money but we didn’t have local power, responsibility and accountability
“We had regional development agencies, we now have local enterprise partnerships. In the case of our agencies, we put a shed load of money into the regions, but we didn’t create the point of decision making of accountability that I think that the local enterprise partnerships, which the concept of the Northern Powerhouse is trying to do.
“So, we had money but we didn’t have local power, responsibility and accountability.”
Lord Mandelson has welcomed the Prime Minister’s Modern Industrial Strategy plan. Launched in the North West, the government’s strategy will help create an estimated 5,200 jobs in Sunderland while flood reinforcements in Bradford, Calderdale, Craven, Kirklees and Leeds are set to help safeguard 11,000 jobs and 1,300 businesses.
Theresa May has launched a new industrial strategy plan
New “sector deals” and investment to support “industries of the future” will be pushed through to create high-skilled, high-paid jobs.
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Lord Mandelson said the plan put an end to Margaret Thatcher’s “purely market driven philosophy”.
He said: “The reason why that’s important is that I think it provides a basis for cross party agreement, a consensus which is important if industrial strategy is going to endure and work in the future.
Theresa May's 12 point Brexit plan
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Continued cooperation with the EU to tackle terrorism and international crime.
“For it to work, it doesn’t just have to be good, it has to be truly transformative. Transformative in our ability to innovate and commercialise our science space, to transform our skill rating in this country, not just for those at university but for the other half of the young population who don’t go to university.
“But also it has to be transformative in our ability to make available patient long term finance for start up and growing companies.”
Among the eleven councils to be granted the £556million as part of the deal, Greater Manchester is set to be given £130.1million, Liverpool City Region £72million and Leeds City Region £67.5million.