BUSINESS Secretary Vince Cable has come under fire at the Liberal Democrat conference for presenting a damaging image of the region.
North East Chamber of Commerce chief executive James Ramsbotham said it was disappointing Mr Cable chose to begin his main speech with a reference to the Northern Rock crisis five years ago.
He added that the BBC Newsnight programme had dropped an interview with him where he set out how the region was an asset to the country.
Speaking at a fringe event at the Brighton conference, Mr Ramsbotham said the programme interviewed several people in the region.
He highlighted out how the North East had a positive balance of trade, with exports almost doubling within five years – only to be informed the programme was running with three people whose homes had been repossessed.
“It is a classic of the way that the national media paint us,” said Mr Ramsbotham who warned it was having a direct economic impact.
A BBC spokesman said: “Due to the pressure of other news stories such as the Hillsborough announcement, we had to cut down the film featuring Mr Ramsbotham. We focused on three people whose lives were directly affected rather than a wider view of the region.
“Mr Ramsbotham was not dropped because of anything he said.”