John McDonnell would break up the Treasury and move a large chunk of it to the north of England if Labour came to power, the shadow chancellor confirmed today.
He said on the BBC’s Andrew Marr show that locating decision-makers and administrators in the north would mean “better decisions will be made”, leading to higher investment in the region.
His comments came after he laid out his plan for a £250bn northern Treasury unit that would have the goals of improving the region’s infrastructure in an interview with the Manchester Evening News.
“We’ve got to address the regional imbalances in terms of investment in our economy,” he said on the Marr show this morning.
“We need to pour money in to the north: investment long term on infrastructure, training, rebuilding the economy,” he said.
McDonnell said the new Number 11 unit in the north would be called the national transformation fund.
He told the Manchester Evening News: “People think it isn’t important, that it doesn’t matter where they’re located. Oh yes it does. People need to know what lives people are living in those areas.”
Tory leadership contender Jeremy Hunt said on Friday that he supported both the HS2 and Northern Powerhouse Rail high-speed train lines.
But favourite Boris Johnson has raised doubts about the controversial HS2 project, which if completed would connect London, Birmingham, Leeds and Manchester.