“Lord O’Neill’s resignation letter states that the Northern Powerhouse “appears” to be commanding the Prime Minister’s personal attention “despite speculation to the contrary”. However, his resignation from the Government and the Conservative Party is unlikely to dampen this speculation.
Many will interpret this as another nail in the coffin of the Osborne legacy.
It would be a tragedy if the devolution agenda fell foul to political point scoring. We need to return power to our great cities and county regions in order to grow sustainable economies, deliver effective public services and give ordinary citizens a stake and a say in the future of their communities.
That’s much bigger than one man’s political project. Indeed it should go beyond party politics. We should all hope that Lord O’Neill is right and that this agenda remains in safe and committed hands.”