After their official formation at the end of October, Guido can reveal the Northern Research Group is kicking into gear to lobby the Treasury on specific ‘levelling-up’ policies to boost their patches. A new letter organised by MP Kevin Hollinrake sees 33 Tories call on the Chief Secretary to the Treasury, Steve Barclay, to go further in ending “structurally biased” Treasury spending rules, which see the Homes England housing formula allocate the majority of its funding towards the South East of England. Spot which of the 41 MPs who backed the NRG in October have dropped off the list of signatories – keeping their powder dry ahead of a new year reshuffle?
The sizable group of backbenchers note that while Rishi promised changes to the Treasury’s funding rules (the “Green Book”) in his November Spending Review, “there is scope for the Government to go further in order to achieve its aims”, calling on Barclay to replace the Housing Infrastructure Fund and
“ensure that the necessary funding is explicitly directed towards the North so we can help to achieve the Government’s ‘Levelling Up’ agenda.”
With the NRG formally caucusing the government, as well as the 109 MPs from the 2019 intake restructuring into a lobbying movement with an elected chairman, No. 10 is going to find itself struggling to give its rank-and-file MPs the attention they all want…