A RIGHT-wing think tank is being launched in the north with a council made up of ‘Blue Wall’ MPs.
Rother Valley MP Alexander Stafford will be among those sitting on the Northern Policy Foundation’s Parliamentary Council which aims to support the Government’s levelling-up agenda and the post-Covid-19 recovery.
The Northern Policy Foundation (NPF) said it would be based in the north and run by northern voices to generate pragmatic ‘One Nation’ policies.
Its council is made up of Conservative MPs from mainly Brexit-voting, Blue Wall seats — those that were held by Labour before December’s General Election.
The NPF will be run by Tom Lees, a former global head of corporate affairs at £2bn construction consultancy Mace and staffer to two cabinet ministers, and Dr Sean Worth, who is a former Number 10 policy adviser and previously ran the Conservative Party Research Department.
The think tank said its research and work would focus on developing pragmatic and impactful policy interventions and analysis that would help the north to flourish and lives to be improved — particularly in the context of a post-Covid world.
It said it would focus on five policy areas – opportunity, innovation and research and development, health and wellbeing, connectivity, and values.
Mr Lees, director of the NPF, said: “Now is the time to rebuild and re-shape the north to provide more and better opportunities for local people, tackle poor health outcomes and poverty, bolster and support science, innovation and research and development and to ensure the north’s economy comes back stronger after the Covid-19 pandemic.
“Overcoming centuries old disparities and levelling-up will be a challenge, but with the right policy interventions and support from central government I know my fellow northerners are up for the challenge and making real progress.”
Cabinet Office minister Michael Gove said: “Levelling up the country and ensuring opportunities are spread right across the UK and the north is a key commitment of the Government.
“I welcome the creation of the Northern Policy Foundation, its aims and the work and research it plans to carry out.”