Rachel Reeves to call for more economic devolution for northern England

Rachel Reeves is to make the case for “deeper and broader” economic devolution to give communities across the north of England the tools to “lead in the growth industries”.

Labour’s shadow chancellor is set to stress the need for “more local powers” over the economy in a speech to the Great Northern Conference in Manchester on Wednesday.

Ms Reeves is expected to say: “We have been far too timid about economic devolution.

“So, in the next Labour government, (shadow communities secretary) Lisa Nandy and I will ensure that economic devolution is both deeper and broader.

“This will give communities more control over their future and enable them to contribute more to our country’s economic growth.”

She will say that the next Labour government will “offer a prospectus for real levelling up – an agenda for a greener, fairer Britain in which towns and cities across the north of England play their part”.

This will be informed by the blueprint for the future of the UK being drawn up by former prime minister Gordon Brown and the contribution of regional and local leaders.

Ms Reeves will say that Whitehall must give towns and cities across Britain the tools to “lead in the growth industries” and “create the environment in which those businesses can thrive”.

She will also tout Labour’s Green Prosperity Plan, saying: “Many of the most deprived communities and regions in the UK are also those most exposed to the effects of climate change.

“But many of these same regions are ideally placed to lead in renewable energies and the new industries that will power our climate transition. The communities which powered Britain’s first industrial revolution can power the next.

“That is why the north of England is so central to Labour’s Green Prosperity Plan: Electric battery factories in the North East and the North West. Clean steel with jobs in Rotherham, Sheffield and Scunthorpe. And carbon capture and storage in Humberside, in Teesside, and in Merseyside. Good, secure work. Opportunity shared widely. And industries in which communities can take pride.”