'First test' of Chancellor Philip Hammond's Budget is what it does for the North, says Labour's Jon Trickett

The 'first test' of Chancellor Philip Hammond's upcoming Budget will be how far it goes towards helping the North, a Labour frontbencher has said.

Hemsworth MP Jon Trickett has been named as Labour's unofficial 'champion of the North'.
Hemsworth MP Jon Trickett has been named as Labour's unofficial 'champion of the North'.

Jon Trickett, who has been appointed as the party’s unofficial “champion of the North”, has promised to “bang the table” to get investment into the region.

He described the Northern Powerhouse project started by Tory former Chancellor George Osborne as a “fig leaf for neglect” because it is has “not had anything like the funding required”.

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The Hemsworth MP, who will speak at a Labour event in Leeds today on how Brexit revealed a “restless England” with areas being left behind, highlighted figures showing Yorkshire and Humber has the lowest productivity per head in the UK, but that London receives £600 more per head in capital investment than the whole of the North.

In addition, average pay in Yorkshire and Humber is less than three quarters that in London, while child poverty has risen by one per cent since the Tories came to power in 2010.

Yorkshire and Humber also has the same proportion of its workers (2.5 per cent) on a zero hours contract as in London.

Mr Trickett told The Yorkshire Post:: “Unless there’s really significant action to change the way the regional balance works in England, the North is going to continue in the slop process of being detached from the main engine of economic growth, which is now in the City

“If you ask people if they are proud about being English, one of the things they say is our economy used to be great and we used to be a power in the world - it’s really a nostalgia for industrialism and as we have deindustrialised, the North, which was at the centre of the industrial revolution, has been left behind.”

Mr Hammond will announce the Budget on October 29.