Kelvin MacKenzie's not very popular in the North - and his latest broadside is unlikely to change that.
The former Sun editor has penned a polemic for the Daily Telegraph, claiming that those poor "overtaxed" souls in London and the South East should seek "home rule."
"The subsidy from London and the South East to the rest of the country is truly astonishing. While the difference between what London spends and what it earns is 10 per cent on the plus side, you go to Wales and it’s 36 per cent on the minus side," he writes.
'Somebody needs to fight for the middle class': MacKenzie made a rallying call in the Telegraph
"I would like somebody, anybody, to fight for me – the middle class of London and the South East. The wealth created through long hours – the area works at least 10 per cent longer than anywhere else in the UK – is truly Herculean."
For those who doubt he's serious about his call, MacKenzie's even shelled out £9 of what money he has left after tax to pay for a domain name for what he's decided to call the Southern Party (http://www.southernparty.co.uk/) - although one Twitter user speculated this sounded "like a fried chicken joint in Peckham."
In response to Mackenzie's comments Graeme Henderson, IPPR North Research Fellow, told The Huffington Post UK London was relying on the regions in many ways: "Public spending per head, excluding social protection, is more than £1,000 higher in London than in the North East and almost £2000 more than in Yorkshire and the Humber.
"London relies on the regions in other ways too, importing around 60% of its graduates, compared to the North East which exports a quarter of its graduates.
"The crux of the argument is that London and the South East pay more tax because they earn more on average. The only way of addressing this, other than having a higher tax rate in the regions or everyone moving to the South East, is to boost wages jobs in other regions.
"IPPR North's Northern Economic Futures Commission report published last week shows how northern prosperity would boost national prosperity."
Jess Tyrrell, deputy deputy at Centre for London told The Huffington Post UK: "London is not ready to be a city state and shouldn't be and London's links to the rest of the UK are really key.
"There are arguments for London to have greater powers over things and that's what you'd propose over what Kelvin's saying."
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