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  1. ITV Report

Report calls for HS2 scale intervention on wealth divisions in North/South divide

Lord Bob Kerslake. Credit: PA

Government intervention on the scale of HS2 is needed to address the widening gaps between the richest and poorest parts of the UK, a report released in Salford today claims.

The UK2070 Commission said regional inequalities were "serious" and growing, with the UK home to some of the richest and poorest regions in Europe.

Its report said the UK must adjust to life beyond Brexit and the impacts of climate change over the next decade, warning that a "business as usual" attitude will lead to further decline and division.

Commission chairman Lord Kerslake, the former head of the civil service, said the Government now needs to "go big or go home" on its promises to "level up" Britain, claiming that only a large-scale and long-term approach will address the issue.

The commission carried out an 18-month study into regional inequality, claiming the UK is now the most unequal large country in the developed world.

It found that between 2007 and 2017, London's economy grew by 6.75% - almost twice the UK average rate - compared with the Northern Powerhouse regions, which grew by 0.72%.

There was also an increase of 1.27 million more jobs in London and the South East, compared with 330,000 in the north.

Hannah Miller explains what it means for the North West.