Former chancellor George Osborne is to launch the new Northern Powerhouse Partnership and continue his support of devolution to the northern regions
The MP for Tatton was sacked from his role as chancellor by prime minister Theresa May following the UK’s vote to leave the EU, casting doubt over the future of the Northern Powerhouse initiative, which Osborne has driven since unveiling it in mid-2014.
However Osborne has now been named as chair of the Northern Powerhouse Partnership - a non-profit partnership with a board of business people and city leaders. It will lobby Whitehall to devolve powers and funds to northern city regions, create regional mayors and improve transport links in the area.
It had been reported that May was mooting scrapping the policy, so as to distance herself from the previous government.
However, in an article for the Yorkshire Post last month, May stressed her support for the Northern Powerhouse - saying the government will invest £13bn into improving transport in the north - and that she will devolve ‘real power’ to people in Yorkshire.
Osborne said in an article for The Sun: ’It is great that Theresa May has recently recommitted her government to the vision we set out. But if we’re going to make it happen we can’t just expect Whitehall to do it all. It has to be a team effort.
’The Northern Powerhouse has to be owned by the north, driven from the north, for the north.’
’There’s nothing that says the north of England should not be as prosperous as the south, or even more so.’
Following the EU referendum result Osborne, then as the chancellor, pledged to bolster the powerhouse and ‘make it a reality’.