A GROUP of new Conservative MPs from Brexit voting and ‘blue wall’ seats has launched a foundation to support the North of the country as it recovered from Covid 19.

The Northern Policy Foundation is a centre-Right think tank based in the North and “run by Northern voices.”

It will be run Tom Lees - formerly Global Head of Corporate Affairs at £2bn construction consultancy Mace and staffer to two Cabinet Ministers.

The group said: “The research and work will focus on developing pragmatic and impactful policy interventions and analysis that will help the North to flourish and lives to be improved - particularly in the context of a post-COVID world.”

Platform extensions and road schemes - 'priorities’ for post lockdown recovery proposed

The group’s programme of work will focus on five policy areas: Opportunity, Innovation, Health and Wellbeing, Connectivity, Values.

Members of the Northern Policy Foundation’s Parliamentary Council are:

● Scott Benton, MP for Blackpool South

● Dehenna Davison, MP for Bishop Auckland

● Nick Fletcher, MP for Don Valley

● Katherine Fletcher, MP for South Ribble

● Imran Ahmad Khan, MP for Wakefield

● Mark Logan, MP for Bolton North East

● Alexander Stafford, MP for Rother Valley

● Sara Britcliffe, MP for Hyndburn and Haslingden

Tom Lees 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 R&D 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.”

Michael Gove MP, Chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster and Minister for the Cabinet Office, 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."