Labour MPs in the north-east of England are demanding showdown talks with Shadow Chancellor Ed Balls over the party’s response to the Smith Commission.
One furious member claimed the area could become “the desolate north” if the Smith proposals are implemented.
Wansbeck MP Ian Lavery said: “What I fear is the phrase ‘the desolate north’ could become a reality.”
The vast majority of north-east MPs are Labour. Many are concerned about what happens if income tax is different on each side of the Border and should Holyrood cut or scrap Airport Passenger Duty.
Newcastle Airport has warned devolving APD could cost 1,000 jobs across the region and suck £400 million from the area’s economy.
That led Balls, along with Shadow Transport Secretary Michael Dugher and Shadow Business Secretary Chuka Umunna, to write to the Treasury calling for a “mechanism” to offset any disadvantage to regional airports.
A Labour source told The Sunday Post: “This is a big problem.”
Scottish Labour leadership candidate Jim Murphy met with north-east colleagues to calm them last week.
He said: “The north-east should not be disadvantaged by the fact Scotland will have this power on air transport. People are working on this now.”
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