George Osborne earned a telling off for the launch of his Northern Powerhouse think tank

Mark Sands
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Osborne launched the Northern Powerhouse think tank in mid-September (Source: Getty)

Former chancellor George Osborne has received a ticking off from parliamentary authorities for failing to disclose his plans to chair a Northern Powerhouse think-tank.

City A.M. exclusively revealed the plans last month, with Osborne formally launching the operating in mid-September.

However, parliament's Advisory Committee on Business Appointments has now revealed that he did not disclose his plans to authorities until after the public launch on 16 September.

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“The committee noted with concern that you sought advice on this appointment after you had launched the Northern Powerhouse Partnership” it said in a letter to Osborne, published today.

“The committee would also remind you that advice should be sought on all appointments, paid or unpaid, before they are taken up or announced.”

It added that after consulation, the committee was confident that both the Treasury and the Department for Communities and Local Government held no concerns on the role.

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However, it additionally noted: “The committee notes that in seeking to promote economic development in the North of England, this role will involve some dealings with government.

“However, it would expect you to refrain from making use, directly or indirectly, of privileged access derived from your role as a minister to influence government policy on behalf of the Northern Powerhouse Partnership.”

Seperately, the government has revealed that more than 30 firms have signed up to be partners to its work in the North.

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Firms including Barclays, Siemens, Deloitte and Leeds Bradford Airport have agreed to back work on the Northern Powerhouse by championing the region's strengths and promoting development across transport, skills and innovation, culture, and devolution.

Treasury chief secretary David Gauke said: "Today dozens of bold businesses are sending a clear message by joining us in this quest to make the Northern Powerhouse an even better place to live, work and invest in.

"But this is just the start, and I would encourage other leading companies to sign up to our new scheme, so we can continue to work together to unleash the full potential of our great northern towns and cities."

Full list of Northern Powerhouse partners

  • Peel Ports
  • Creative Inclusive Industries
  • North Invest
  • aql
  • Medilink
  • N8
  • Barclays
  • Siemens
  • Northern Health Science Alliance
  • Leeds Bradford Airport
  • Marketing Lancashire
  • Visit Hull and East Yorkshire
  • Arcadis
  • Make It York
  • RTC North
  • Crawford Healthcare
  • Avecto
  • Deloitte
  • University of Central Lancashire (UCLAN)
  • Carlisle Lake District Airport
  • Vivergo Fuels
  • North & Western Lancashire Chamber of Commerce
  • Downton in Business
  • Hello Soda
  • Recycling Lives Centre
  • Manchester Airport Group
  • The Peel Group
  • Atkins Global
  • North Wales Business Council
  • Northern Power Women
  • PD Ports

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