Iain Duncan Smith last night told The Yorkshire Post Excellence in Business Awards that it was a myth the UK was driven just by London.
He was speaking as firms from across Yorkshire gathered in Leeds for the region’s flagship business awards ceremony.
The former Conservative party leader praised the job creation efforts in the region and the UK, saying that private sector employment is at a record high, “up by an astounding 2 million since the last election”.
He added: “Importantly – despite the nonsense spoken about London – it is not just London that is driving this recovery. Far from it.
“In fact, since 2010, two thirds of the private sector growth been in other regions – and the annual rise here in Yorkshire and the Humber has been just as fast as London.
“Scotland has a higher employment rate than London and the North East and North West have both seen greater increases over the last year.
“As the Prime Minister has said, there is still much more to do in bringing our great Northern cities together, creating an economic powerhouse to rival any global city, through modern transport connections, investment in science and universities, and more local control and political clout.”
The Secretary of State added: “In Yorkshire and the Humber, inactivity is down 1.3% since 2010 and unemployment down 2.5% – more than the UK average.”
The awards celebrated the best in Yorkshire business, with sponsors such as main sponsors DLA Piper, Goldman Sachs, PwC and Yorkshire Bank all showing their long-term support for the awards and local business.
There was also backing from the likes of Bradford University School of Management, Drax, Elevation Recruitment, QBE Insurance and the bigword group .