Northern regional daily newspapers have used their front pages today to launch a coordinated campaign calling on politicians in Westminster to stop ignoring their readers and narrow the north-south divide.
More than 30 titles published by Reach, Newsquest and JPI Media have put their names to the “Power Up The North” campaign – including The Yorkshire Post, Manchester Evening News and Carlisle News and Star.
The papers have also published a jointly-written open letter as Conservative leadership candidates kickstart their bids to become the next party leader and Prime Minister this week.
The letter, which is aimed at all political parties, urges leaders and would-be leaders to “spell out” how they would close the north-south divide.
It said: “With nominations closing today in the Tory party contest to succeed Theresa May – and with every likelihood of a general election being called in the near future in an attempt to break the Parliamentary paralysis – every day of dither and delay risks leaving the north at an even greater disadvantage.
“Politics can’t stay in limbo like this. Decisions need to be made and new infrastructure built so this region can attract national and international investment.
“There must be a new commitment by all parties to put this region first and start reversing decades of under-investment in key services.”
The newspapers went on to make several specific demands of party leaders including an overhaul of rail and road networks, further investment in educational institutions and elevating the post of Northern Powerhouse minister to the cabinet.
Party leaders were also urged to set out plans for future social housing developments and back an industrial strategy for the region.
The Power up the North front pages come a year after the north’s newspapers united to call for dramatic fixes to rail services in the region. Several titles carried the headline “Off the Rails” on their front pages when that campaign launched.
Regional northern newspaper front pages today:
Picture: Manchester Evening News