An online petition to transfer the seat of British politics from Westminster to Manchester has been backed by one of the region’s MPs.
The e-petition, on the campaign site 38Degrees, is addressed to Prime Minister David Cameron and has reached almost 200 signatures in less than 24 hours.
If Parliament was to move from London many feel that it would help develop other areas of the country instead of flushing all finance into the capital.
Graham Stringer, Labour MP for Blackley and Broughton, believes that that, combined with the fact Parliament is in need of major repair, makes the move a no-brainer.
He told MM: “I really do think Parliament should move to Manchester because it will need to close in six or seven years for major refurbishment.
“There is tons of asbestos, the electric was put in just after the Second World War and it is full of mice. If it wasn’t a Royal Protected building it would have been closed for health and safety reasons.”
Mr Stringer also alluded to the fact that if Parliament moved to major UK city it would help spread resources to areas that are currently being neglected.
“We absolutely need to spread the wealth; one of the important factors is moving civil servants across the UK. We have become too London-centric there is nowhere near enough spending in the north,” he added.
“I think Mancunians would welcome the benefits of Parliament being their city as it would bring political benefits as well as economic benefits.”
Moving Parliament from its iconic home might sounds too far-fetched some as there is a lot of history and tradition steeped in the towering walls.
It has also been argued that Parliament should not move to the North because it is unwanted.
Loz Kaye, leader of the Pirate Party, told MM: “Frankly most Mancunians want keep politicians at arms-length. It is bad enough when the Tories come here every two years; it is something that most people can do without.
“I don’t think it is viable to move Parliament to Manchester.
“I propose to even the spending by moving some of the civil service jobs to Manchester which will bring business to the city.”
The Mancunian believes that despite the likelihood of Parliament moving to his home city is unlikely he does think that gaining awareness on the distribution of wealth is really important.
“Hopefully the petition will get people talking about the distribution of wealth and will get people to question why so much power goes to London,” he added.
“If Parliament did move to Manchester it would give the city more involved in politics and significantly benefit everyone economically.”
The man who started the petition David Welch became frustrated by how London-centric the UK has become and believes that by moving Parliament further up the country it will be more inclusive.
The chartered engineer told MM: “I really think Parliament should move to Manchester. It has established itself as the UK’s second city and will help spread out resources.
“By moving to Manchester it will benefit the country as a whole, places like Mersey side and Yorkshire will be under-developed if not enough funding it put into them.
“I don’t think there is a realistic chance that Parliament will move to Manchester but the idea gets the ball rolling and gets people talking about issue about spreading wealth.”
The member of the British Computer Society was recently put out of work and as he is located in the North West region he has found it impossible to find a job.
“Other than near London it is really hard to get a job,” he said. “There are so many jobs in London and so much wealth but there are a lot of things that need to be done in the rest of the UK.
“It is the first petition I have started and I was a little bit worried it would sink without a trace, but it will hopefully pick up some momentum soon.
“It is about time that the region got the investment and respect that they deserve.
“I don’t think Mancunians will want politicians in the area as they have always been sceptical of them.”
To sign the petition you can go to https://you.38degrees.org.uk/petitions/move-Parliament-to-manchester?bucket=38fb#
Picture courtesy of pmecologic, with thanks.