UK
31/07/2013 16:10 BST | Updated 31/07/2013 16:13 BST

Lord Howell Invited To Stay In Caravan In 'Desolate' North East

A Tory peer who branded the North East of England as "desolate" has been invited to visit the region and has even been offered the chance to stay in a caravan.

Lord Howell of Guildford, who is George Osborne's father-in-law, said the controversial fracturing drilling technique could take place in the region due to there being large uninhabited areas.

lordhowell

Lord Howell

But after his comments were strongly criticised, Lord Howell last night issued an apology insisting he had not meant to insult the region.

Today the peer has received a number of invitations to visit the region, including the chance to stay at a popular holiday park.

A letter signed by Kate Priestley, chair of Northumberland Tourism, said: "On behalf of Northumberland Tourism industry, I would like to extend an invitation to Lord Howell to visit our beautiful county.

"I have no doubt that following his visit, he too would be loathe to recommend any action which would damage this little known jewel in England's crown."

Golden Sands Holiday Park, in Morpeth, Northumberland, wrote on Twitter: "We've a caravan waiting for you Lord Howell on the Northumberland beauty coast."

Ronnie Campbell, MP for Blyth Valley, said Lord Howell showed why "doddery Lords who are going gaga should retire".

He said that he was proud of the North East and its natural beauty.

"Lord Howell makes a good case of why doddery Lords who are going gaga should retire, and the sooner the better," he said.

"I am proud of the North East - its natural beauty and the generous spirit of its people. Nevertheless, such southern bigotry stretches that generosity to breaking point."

Soon after the peer's comments were first reported, Twitter users began to ironically use the hashtag "desolate" alongside their pictures of North East beauty spots.

These included shots of Bamburgh Castle, Hadrian's Wall, the isle of Lindisfarne and the Newcastle quayside.