Ex-Minister in warning over Tory ‘no go areas’ in North

THE next Prime Minister must not allow the North to become a “no go area” for the Tories, a former Minister warns today.

Trainees at Sheffield's Advanced Manufacturing Research Centre.

Sam Gyimah – who was previously responsible for university, science and research policy – also confirms that this region’s leading higher education faculties have been shortchanged by successive governments.

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The backbench MP is due to visit the University of Sheffield’s Advanced Manufacturing Research Centre today to learn more about the pioneering work being undertaken at the cutting-edge site in South Yorkshire.

However he says spending on research and development in Yorkshire was the equivalent of just £258 per person in 2016 compared to a national average of £505.

“Britain is simply brilliant at science, research and innovation. Investing in these areas across the North could provide a backbone for regional development and a network of opportunity that everyone can benefit from,” he writes.

“Every Conservative leadership candidate should reflect that this is not just the right thing to do - it’s also in their electoral interest. In 1900, West Yorkshire had nine Conservative and Unionist MPs. South Yorkshire had five. Today there are five Tory MPs in the West Yorkshire and none in South. If the Conservative Party can deliver prosperity, there will be no no-go areas for it.

“For the Conservatives to succeed, we need to win modern Britain – this is about delivering for young and old, North and South, Leavers and Remainers.”

Mr Gyimah, who quit his ministerial post last November so he could campaign for a second referendum on Brexit, says that he fears the Tories will turn “inwards” during the leadership contest now underway after Theresa May resigned last week.