Cameron asks for Qatar cash to build a Northern Powerhouse

David Cameron has asked the Emir of Qatar to put billions of pounds into creating a Northern Powerhouse and east west High Speed Rail.

David Cameron

The Prime Minister met with the Emir to look at how Qatar, which has ploughed some £20bn into the UK in recent years, could become an even bigger investor in the UK’s list of much-needed infrastructure projects.

Downing Street said the PM specifically highlighted the Conservative’s “Northern Powerhouse” proposal with a plea to invest in infrastructures and manufacturing.

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The Qatari royal family’s sovereign wealth fund has already bought up or invested in some of the UK’s biggest firms and sites, with stakes in Sainsbury’s and Heathrow Airport while pouring cash into the Shard tower block in London and buying up the Harrods store outright.

A Downing Street spokesman said: “The Prime Minister welcomed recent Qatari investment of over £20bn in Britain and encouraged the Emir to consider more opportunities across the country, particularly the Government’s plan to establish a Northern Powerhouse by connecting our great Northern cities and the development of high speed rail. They also discussed the opportunities for British businesses in Qatar, notably in the development of hospitals and universities.

While Mr Cameron will be hoping the fund could help create an economic revival in the north, the Qatari family has insisted its investment decisions are based on the expected return rather than political considerations.