'˜Northern Powerhouse' in doubt as Yorkshire MPs given Government jobs

THE FUTURE of the '˜northern powerhouse' concept is in question after the minister responsible was moved by Prime Minister Theresa May.

James Wharton will no longer be Northern Powerhouse Minister
James Wharton will no longer be Northern Powerhouse Minister

James Wharton, Northern Powerhouse Minister under David Cameron, has been moved to the Department for International Development in Mrs May’s first government.

Brigg and Goole MP Andrew Percy has replaced Mr Wharton at the Department for Communities and Local Government but does not appear to have taken on the same job title.

Creating a ‘northern powerhouse’ was a key theme of the Cameron government but its future was put in doubt when Mrs May sacked George Osborne, who had coined the phrase, as Chancellor in one of her first acts as Prime Minister.

The appointment of Mr Percy, his first Government job, was one of a number for Yorkshire MPs as Mrs May completed her line-up over the weekend.

Scarborough MP Robert Goodwill was moved from the Department for Transport to the Home Office where he will be Immigration Minister.

Skipton and Ripon MP Julian Smith and Beverley and Holderness MP Graham Stuart were given jobs in the Whips office.

Harrogate MP Andrew Jones will remain at the Department for Transport while Keighley MP Kris Hopkins will be a junior minister in the Northern Ireland Office.

He said: “I am proud to have served in the Province as a member of the Armed Forces and, after entering Parliament, have had the opportunity to return.

“Since the Good Friday Agreement in 1998, huge political progress has been made but challenges still remain.

“I look forward to playing my part to build on the achievements and strive for more.”