Levelling up should be a priority for new prime minister, say North West MPs

North West MPs are calling for Boris Johnson's successor to make sure levelling up is one of their top priorities.

North West Conservatives - in particular - have time and again said levelling up can't be seen as a mere slogan.

They say the next Prime Minister needs to have a plan to tackle inequality and make a difference.

Chris Green, Conservative MP for Bolton West, told ITV Granada Reports that the North West of England has been under-funded for many years and the new Prime Minister must deliver on the northern powerhouse agenda.

MP Chris Green tells Lise McNally the government's levelling up agenda must be maintained

He said: "It's tough in parliament and for the country as a hole and I think colleagues around Greater Manchester and the North West of England are deeply concerned about the ability of the Prime Minister to set the right direction.

"That clean break is what I think many people are looking for and actually I am very sympathetic to that. We need an early break now to re-set the direction we are going.

"I think that many of the concerns that have been raised haven't seen a conclusive judgement until fairly recently. It's always a difficult thing to remove a Prime Minister and remove the wider team around them. So you don't do it lightly.

Boris Johnson had promised to level up parts of the country that had fallen behind

"On levelling up there was a huge shift in the North of England in support of Boris Johnson as Prime Minister.

" I actually think that is a reflection more of the shift in the country that politicians are reflecting. We do have to maintain that position. We do have to champion the causes that people put us in government to do and it is one of the big challenges now to maintain that momentum.

"I was disappointed, for example, after David Cameron and George Osborne left government that the Northern Powerhouse Agenda was not maintained but we do have to make sure levelling up is maintained whomever takes over."

On the potential of losing his seat he said: "any member of parliament has to work really hard to champion the cause of their constituents so we're always worried and concerned about the next general election but all we can do is work hard and champion the cause in parliament."

Meanwhile the former Minister of State for the Northern Powerhouse, Jake Berry, Conservative MP for Rossendale and Darwen has vowed to continue to promote the levelling up agenda to whoever the next Prime Minister is.

MP Jake Berry says he will make sure that the call for levelling up is not lost in the noise of a leadership election.

On social media he posted a video saying "I will make sure that the call for levelling up...is not lost in the noise of a leadership election."

Public think tank, the Institute for Public Policy Research (IPPR) North says levelling up the North West with richer parts of the country must reman at the top of the political agenda.

Zoe Billingham says that, and the cost of living crisis are major concerns that need to be addressed.

She said: "People now care about regional inequality above all other inequalities in this country, so for the next prime minister not to take it up would really go against what the public really want and are looking for."