North needs a figurehead like Salmond

The North of England needs an Alex Salmond-type figure to win more powers, funding and inward investment as it increasingly finds itself competing against Scotland, a new report has claimed.

A paper published today by the IPPR think-tank highlighted the success of Mr Salmond - Scotland’s First Minister - in securing investment for the devolved nation, both from Westminster and from multinational firms.

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It said the North would benefit from a similar spokesperson who could champion its cause, and should seek to capitalise on Scotland’s own devolution agenda to seek new powers from Whitehall.

The IPPR’s Katie Schmuecker said: “Northern leaders should learn from the ambitious outlook of the Scots, and champion decentralisation and further local powers to the North.

“This is a chance for the North to renegotiate its position with Westminster to ensure its future prosperity. It needs to ensure whatever deal is reached between Westminster and Holyrood, the North is not disadvantaged.”