The North East Liberal Democrat peer Lord Shipley has called for a constitutional convention and the creation of a federal structure for the UK. The former leader of Newcastle City Council told a House of Lords debate ‘In my view, we need a proper constitutional convention that looks towards creating a federal structure for the United Kingdom. This is because the question of whether to hold another referendum on independence for Scotland should be seen in the context of the UK as a whole.
‘That must surely include the constituent parts of England. It could prove key to helping the levelling up agenda, because I think levelling up, if it is to be successful, will require constitutional reform.
‘The Covid pandemic is teaching us many things. One is that England is too centralised. There will be a public inquiry, but we need more. We need a constitutional convention to spread power and responsibility much more widely’.