Theresa May, who today has her last as Prime Minister before handing over to Boris Johnson, has now replied in a letter to The Yorkshire Post's editor James Mitchinson. The full text of the letter is below.
Thank you for your letter of 18 June.
I always enjoy my trips to Yorkshire and to The Yorkshire Post. I fondly remember my discussions with your apprentice and editors and am glad that they got as much out of the experience as I did.
Thank you for your kind words of support, and I want to pay tribute to the important work your newspaper has done over the last few years, especially regarding the 'Loneliness: The Hidden Epidemic' campaign.
As you know, tackling this issue has been a personal priority for me and your campaign has made incredibly valuable progress towards ending the injustice of loneliness - I am sure it will continue to bear fruit for years to come.
The Yorkshire Post, as always, is at the forefront of making the case for the North, and I commend the paper's role in the 'Power Up The North' campaign. The Government shares the campaign’s ambitions for the North, which is why we launched the Northern Powerhouse five years ago to support a thriving Northern economy and ensure that this country works for everyone.
Over the last few years, we have kick-started the biggest transfer of power to local leaders since the Second World War to make sure that local communities control the decisions that matter to them.
We are working to ensure our great Northern cities and communities have the power and resources they need to succeed by committing record levels of investment - including £13 billion on transport and £3.4 billion in growth deals.
I know how important it is that the Northern Powerhouse remains at the heart of decision making in Government, which is why I have recently strengthened the role of Minister for the Northern Powerhouse and Local Growth by making it a joint appointment between the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy and the Ministry of Housing, communities and Local Government.
This broadened role, sitting across the two departments responsible for local economic growth, reflects the critical importance we place on the Northern Powerhouse, and will ensure it remains at the forefront of our work to spread growth fairly across the country.
There is much more to do, which is why investing in and supporting the North must remain a top priority for the Government.
Both of the candidates to succeed me as Leader of the Conservative Party have spoken of the importance of the Northern Powerhouse and I trust that both will make it one of their top priorities to do all they can to unlock the North's vast potential.