George Osborne is back
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Former chancellor George Osborne has said that Theresa May had a “wobble” over his Northern Powerhouse project after she became Prime Minister. Osborne’s comment, as he launched a new think-tank to drive the scheme forward, is the clearest indication yet that he had to fight to keep his flagship policy on track after being sacked from the Government in July. He announced that he has recruited the former mayor of New York, billionaire businessman Michael Bloomberg, to advise the powerful new elected “metro” mayors being created in city regions including Manchester, Liverpool and Sheffield. Osborne will chair the Northern Powerhouse Partnership, an independent group, including politicians and business leaders, to help push the agenda of greater powers and investment for the regions to boost jobs and growth. The future of the initiative, launched by Mr Osborne in 2014, came under question after Mrs May’s arrival in 10 Downing Street in July. She initially appeared reluctant to use the phrase “Northern Powerhouse”, speaking instead of a broader nationwide industrial strategy, rather than a regional focus solely on the north.
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