May names new Northern Powerhouse minister

Prime Minister Theresa May’s reshuffle has seen several new names appointed to oversee policies in the built environment and the North, including different ministers for the Northern Powerhouse and housing.

Yesterday, the Government announced that Andrew Percy MP, minister for Brigg and Goole in East Yorkshire, would be taking over as Northern Powerhouse minister from James Wharton, MP for Stockton South. Wharton has now moved into the Department for International Development.

May was sworn in as Prime Minister on Wednesday, and swiftly executed a raft of ministerial changes.

Brandon Lewis, MP for Great Yarmouth, was replaced as minister for housing and planning by Gavin Barwell MP, representative for Croydon Central. Barwell will also hold the post of minister for London.

Chris Grayling, member for Epsom and Eawell, Surrey, took over as minister for transport from Patrick McLoughlin, MP for Derbyshire Dales. McLoughlin has become the Chancellor for the Duchy of Lancaster.

Greg Clark, outgoing Secretary of State for Communities & Local Government, was replaced by Sajid Javid, MP for Bromsgrove, Worcestershire.

Clark is a long-term supporter of devolution and played a leading role in many of the deals to transfer powers to local authorities across the country. He will now hold the position of Secretary of State for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy.

May’s reshuffle has been seen as potentially putting the Government’s Northern Powerhouse agenda at risk, with Northern names replaced by ministers with Southern constituencies. The most high-profile departure has been that of George Osborne, MP for Tatton and proponent of the Northern Powerhouse during his time as Chancellor of the Exchequer, who was sent back to the backbenches last Wednesday. He was replaced by Philip Hammond, MP for Runnymede and Weybridge, Surrey.

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Percy does not strike me as a big hitter. With this appointment, Osborne gone, Clark shifted aside and appointments dominated by those from the south, id say the reshuffle amounts to a big downgrade for the Northern Powerhouse agenda. Worrying times.

By West watch

With him being MP for Goole on the Humber lets hope we get some prioritisation for the east-west links across the north which is what we need for Liverpool – Manchester. Should be top priority!

By Alfie

He may do more for Hull. But that will dilute the whole project,as Hull is not going to power the North to prosperity and the money earmarked for this project if spread thinly will make no difference.There are parts of the South East which are very poor,like estuary Essex and Kent.These places are also poorly served and are generally ex-industrial towns. For this to work,the money must be concentrated between Leeds and Liverpool, with Manchester and Manchesster airport at the core. A fast train to Leeds from Hull,is what is needed. Where do we draw the line? We cannot spend the limited money everywhere.

By Elephant

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