Former chancellor George Osborne has pressed the government to "transform" the UK economy by investing in high-speed rail links across the north of England.
Osborne, who also chairs lobby group the Northern Powerhouse Partnership, has said a high-speed link running from Liverpool to Hull (also known as HS3) would be in line with the government's aim of "building an economy that works for everyone".
Writing in the Financial Times, Obsorne said:
Far be it from me to offer advice to the Prime Minister on how to relaunch her premiership this autumn, but making this big commitment to the north at the Conservative conference in Manchester would not be a bad place to start.
The HS3 line would build on the investment into HS2, a railway planned for connecting London and Birmingham that will also have branches leading to Leeds and Manchester.
Mick Cash, general secretary of the Rail, Maritime and Transport union, said Osborne's intervention was hypocritical, given his track-record in government.
"The real legacy of George Osborne's period in government is axed electrification, modernisation and renewal programmes, and private train companies given a political instruction to axe safety-critical guards from their trains," Cash said.