ED Miliband’s promise to bring back a minister for Yorkshire in a Labour Government would play a vital role in giving the region a powerful voice, the party’s prospective party candidate for York Central said.

On Wednesday, the Labour leader promised the move during a visit to Huddersfield, saying a dedicated minister for the region would make sure the Government could speak for all of Britain.

York Central Labour prospective parliamentary candidate Rachael Maskell said the deal would bring a real voice to the region. And she said that the party’s devolution plans would bring resources into local areas. The move has been criticised by both the Tory and Liberal Democrat hopefuls for the seat. They say it could be little more than a gimmick or an appeasement.

Liberal Democrat would-be MP Nick Love said the suggestion is hardly ground-breaking, given that his party adopted a devolution-on-demand policy at a conference in York, which would give a council or councils with at least a million inhabitants chance of powers similar to the Welsh Assembly.

He said: “In terms of population and economy, Yorkshire is larger than 91 countries and more than capable of running many of its own affairs if the correct framework is put in place.”

Tory prospective MP Robert McIlveen said: “I am sceptical that a minister for Yorkshire would be anything more than a gimmick unless they have real spending power.

“The (2010 to 2015) Government took real steps forward with city deals and local enterprise partnerships to get local communities, councils and business working together to grow the local economy.”

Also on Wednesday, Chancellor George Osborne trumpeted economic recovery, saying the North is growing faster than the South, and reasserting his ambition to create a Northern powerhouse.