Days after Lord Jim O’Neill, a leading economist and architect of the Northern Powerhouse agenda, made the case in the House of Lords, the Government appeared to concur.
Not only did Jake Berry, the current Northern Powerhouse Minister, make a timely intervention that stood in contrast to his resistance to the One Yorkshire devolution deal, but now Boris Johnson, his political mentor, appears to advocate the empowerment of the English regions.
Herein lies the rub. For, at a time when all politicians from all parties, and Brexit factions, should be coming together, the more cynical and sceptical will conclude, and with probable justification, that the former Foreign Secretary was simply making another pitch for the Tory leadership.
However this newspaper will stand corrected if Mr Johnson, also the ex-Mayor of London, actually goes away, develops his ideas and comes up with a future framework that can be taken seriously. It is called leadership.