The independence debate in Scotland has helped raise the issue of devolution in Yorkshire, it is claimed.

With less than two weeks to go before the vote on Scottish independence, Holmfirth-born Richard Carter, leader of the Yorkshire First party, said it was time for a conversation about potential new powers for Yorkshire in the future.

“Such a conversation is certainly needed,” he claimed. “Yorkshire has a similar population to Scotland and an economy almost double that of Wales and it’s about time Yorkshire had similar powers.

“We also need to rebalance the UK economy. We discovered this week that two of the poorest regions in Northern Europe are in Yorkshire whilst London has a disproportionate share of the nation’s wealth.

“As part of the campaign to get the region to have the decision-making powers to shape its own future we have launched the ‘Yorkshire Pledge’. The plan with the pledge is to get as many signatures as possible over the coming weeks and months in order to put pressure on politicians and Westminster-based political parties.”

Said Mr Carter: “This is not about independence for Yorkshire, but it is about Yorkshire having the decision-making powers to shape its own future.”

The referendum on Scottish independence takes place on September 18.

Mr Carter, who grew up in Meltham, attended Holmfirth High School and Huddersfield New College before studying history at Sussex University. He qualified as a teacher at Leeds University before setting up his own business.

He now lives in Oslo, Norway and works as a business adviser in Germany, but retains business interests in the Huddersfield area.

He said: “It was not until I moved abroad for work that I realised that Yorkshire was well known, but short changed when it came to having decision making powers. I realised that I could either hold my hands up and say all politicians are the same or I could try to do something about it. I decided that action matters”.

On its website, Yorkshire First described itself as “a party that will work in the region’s interests. Not left or right but Yorkshire first” and says: “We believe issues and proposed remedies should be judged on whether it works and whether it is good for the region’s, folk, environment and economy”.

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