Cameron condemned the report as "nonsense" whilst the Labour MP Vera Baird said it was "exactly the sort of vindictive, anti-northern thinking that led to the widespread industrial decline of swathes of the north under Thatche.. Cameron can distance himself from this all he wants but he needs to explain why his friends have no faith in the North."
What's interesting is the complete silence of the Liberal Democrats on the report. It couldn't possibly be because the lead author of the report, Tim Leiung is a registered contributer on Lib Dem Voice.
He also served on the Academic Advisory Panel for Gordon Brown's Barker Review of Land Use Planning, whilst his co-author, Policy Exchanges Chirf Economist, Oliver Hartwich worked for the Lib Dem peer, Lord Oakshott before going to Policy Exchange.
So, in short we have a couple of academics who wrote a report who are well and truly linked to political parties other the Conservative Party, but yet the reporting and the blogging leads one to think otherwise.
I really enjoyed this piece in the Guardian though. It comes complete with quotes from Louise Ellman, Labour MP for Liverpool Riverside such as
This is a counsel of despair and ignorance, harking back to the Tory days of Margaret Thatcher when Norman Lamont told people in the north to pack their bags and leave.You'd think, given she lives and represents the place, she'd be attacking the local Council wouldn't you? After all, it was two Lib Dems that wrote the report, and Liverpool council is controlled by the Lib Dems.
Hey ho though. What can you do?
Update: Oliver Hartwich has said he has never been a Lib Dem member but has worked for Lord Oakshott.