Former Tory chairman demands Whitehall mandarins keep their hands off the North

Former Conservative chairman Sir Jake Berry will today warn Rishi Sunak that he is in danger of losing the North of England unless he stops listening to Whitehall mandarins over local communities.

In what could be a major challenge to the Prime Minister, Sir Jake, who was Liz Truss’s party chairman, will give the keynote address at the Northern Research Group (NRG) conference in Doncaster.

Sir Jake founded the NRG when Boris Johnson was prime minister to give a platform for Northern Tory MPs to challenge the party’s traditional powerbases in the south for funding and support.

In his speech today he will tell Mr Sunak that the Tories will “need to be bold” in the next general election manifesto and ditch what he terms “blobonomics”, named after the insult “blob” for Whitehall Civil Service groupthink.

Sir Jake will say: “We must propose power is with the individual rather than the state.

“To deliver for the North, we need to scrap this broken model or to put it simply, its time to blow up Blobonomics!

“That means not just moving the civil service to the North but breaking up the Oxbridge PPE clique who decide the policy that affects our lives.

“If we return power to the North we could see industry leaders in charge of both writing and delivering policy. A high Street Policy written and implemented by people who have worked in retail, an energy policy written and implemented by experts from the field, hospitals run by doctors not civil servants.

“So in our Manifesto, Let’s embrace creativity. The only way to achieve successful change is to execute new ideas. We need the Bold Conservative disruptive and creative spirit.”

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He will go on: “To win the North at the next election the Conservative Government must offer more than just cosmetic changes; we must offer a comprehensive transformation.

“Let us begin by removing the shackles of Blobonomics which inhibits the North and all of us that live here.”

The NRG includes many critics of the Prime Minister who think that he has not been bold enough since taking over from Liz Truss last autumn.

With the party still trailing in the polls seats in the north are vulnerable to both Labour and the Lib Dems.

The policy announcements by the group will be the first that one of the internal groups has pressed for its agenda to be included in the next general election manifesto.

It is expected that others including the Common Sense Group who want the European Court of Human Rights jurisdiction ended in the UK will follow.

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