NORTHERN Powerhouse Minister Jake Berry and Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn are backing calls by The Press and rival newspapers for measures to tackle the north-south divide.

The Power Up The North campaign was launched on Monday by more than 20 newspapers and websites across the region to challenge the political parties to commit to a package of policy measures to turbo-charge the North’s economy.

Mr Berry said yesterday that the campaign was ‘exactly what we need - showcasing the North’s great ambition and potential, and what can be achieved with the right support.’

He said: “As Northern Powerhouse Minister, I fully back this campaign. What is being called for reflects what I have been working so hard to achieve, and what our new Prime Minister needs to prioritise.

“That’s why I’m backing Boris Johnson to be our next Prime Minister. Boris recognises the power of regional economies and is passionate about backing the Northern Powerhouse. I know he will deliver for the whole country.”

Mr Corbyn said a Labour Government would ‘reverse years of chronic underfunding in the north by investing in communities, upgrading infrastructure, including Crossrail for the North, and bringing good jobs to town and cities held back by the Tories.’

He claimed the ‘failing’ Conservative government was drastically out of touch with people’s lives, adding: “With so much wealth and power hoarded by a privileged few in London and the south east it is no surprise that people feel angry and ignored.”

Meanwhile, the Mayor of Manchester, Andy Burnham, has written to the candidates seeking to become the next Tory Party leader and Prime Minister to claim that Westminster has consistently failed the North of England over decades, under Governments of all colours.

He asked if they would be willing to attend a second ‘Convention of the North’ this summer.