Parties Squabble Over Credit for Northern Powerhouse

Telegraph  No Credit to the EU who will fund it.

Lord Heseltine argues that it is wrong to criticise Mr Osborne for having lacked a plan for growth. “There is a plan,” he writes. “It is to restore to the powerhouses of Liverpool, Manchester, Sheffield, Leeds, Hull and their neighbouring communities the initiative that made them.”

Senior Tories and Lib Dems are already jostling to claim credit for the regional growth policy. Nick Clegg, the Deputy Prime Minister, outlined plans last week for a new economic hub in the North to rival Frankfurt or Lyon.

George Osborne, the Chancellor, also raised the prospect of turning England’s great northern cities into powerhouses for the economy with a new high speed rail route.

On Tuesday, a group of at least eight backbench Tory MPs will try to hijack Mr Clegg’s Deputy Prime Minister’s question time in the Commons to talk about how the investment is benefiting their constituents.

The policy of handing billions of pounds to local groups is intended to create hundreds of thousands of new jobs in Labour’s traditional northern heartlands.

Ed Miliband, the Labour leader, has sought to replicate the local growth plan, with his own proposals for a radical devolution of power from Whitehall to town halls across England.

In his (Sunday Telegraph) article, Lord Heseltine suggests a new transport network may be needed with fast links between Hull on the east coast and Liverpool across the Pennines on the west. But he insists that such initiatives should be devised locally, rather than by politicians in Westminster.


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