WHOEVER is named new Prime Minister today has been granted an invitation to Bradford to see how the district could become the “engine of the North” with the right investment.

At the most recent meeting of Bradford Council, members voted to approve a motion inviting the new Prime Minister, whoever they are, to visit the district.

A motion brought to the meeting by Leader Susan Hinchcliffe also calls for the new PM, be it Boris Johnson or Jeremy Hunt, to invest more in Bradford.

But one Conservative councillor said that unless Labour Councillors “stop moaning” about government cuts the new PM may want to visit somewhere else.

Council votes on Islamophobia definition to show 'no form of hate is tolerated' in District

Presenting the motion, Cllr Hinchcliffe said: “Sixty per cent of our funding goes to children and adults social care. This means other services are getting squeezed to pay for them.

“We’ll be pleased to welcome the new PM to Bradford and broaden his horizons. It will do him well to meet the people of Bradford. We’ll give him a warm welcome.”

She said Bradford and the North were at a crucial point in history - investment could create a true Northern Powerhouse, while a lack of investment could leave the North lagging behind the South. In particular she referred to Northern Powerhouse Rail, a proposed High Speed 3 rail route linking key cities in the North. Bradford Council has been pushing for a Bradford stop on the route, but a decision has yet to be made.

Cllr Hinchcliffe said: “This is not a once in a lifetime opportunity, this is an opportunity that only comes once every 200 or 300 years.”

Conservative leader on the Council John Pennington said Bradford “ticked all the boxes” for investment, including being centrally located in the UK.

However, he questioned the wording of the motion, particularly parts criticising government austerity. He added: “That is not the way to go forward to get the new PM here. We need to present good ideas that will bring results, we can’t go on constantly complaining. We have to stop moaning otherwise he’ll steer well clear and go somewhere else where he’ll get a better reception.

“We have to punch our weight, and be in charge of our own destiny.”

Liberal Democrat Leader Jeanette Sunderland pointed out that just minutes earlier the Council had approved a motion defining Islamophobia. She said: “Both men wanting to be Prime Minister have refused to denounce recent comments by Donald Trump as being racist. These comments have set community against community. Boris Johnson has refused to apologise for his own questionable comments. I think if they want to come here they need to play by our rules.”

The Council approved the motion, agreeing to:

“Invite the new Prime Minister to visit Bradford in order to recognise Bradford’s key role in the Northern Powerhouse.

Push for significant new funding and support to realise our ambitions for better transport infrastructure, more money for early help and prevention, schools and skills, all leading to better jobs and opportunities for all.

Call on the new Prime Minister to finally end his government’s national austerity programme once and for all and instead to invest in the North in order to realise its true potential.”