George Osborne has said there is a 'strong case' for more elected mayors to drive growth and development in northern cities and rival London Mayor Boris Johnson.
Speaking on BBC radio 4's Today programme the Chancellor said: "I think there is a strong case for elected mayors in places like Greater Manchester to make sure they have the same powers, the same clout, as the mayor of London does in our capital.
"I think it helps to have a single individual who is, of course, democratically accountable, but also bringing together powers over planning, housing and transport."
He added he wanted to bring together cities like Manchester, Leeds, Liverpool and Hull with new transport links.
More top news
In central England and across Scotland, any early cloud will clear, leaving warm sunshine for the rest of the day.
Marks & Spencer has unveiled another year of falling profits as the high street giant counts the cost of its transformation programme.
Philip Roth, one of the great American authors who won the Pulitzer for American Pastoral, has died aged 85.