Prime Minister Theresa May has appointed a new minister to lead the ongoing Northern Powerhouse project.

Conservative May, who took over the Premiership last Wednesday, has chosen Brigg and Goole MP Andrew Percy as the figurehead of the policy.

He replaces Stockton South MP James Wharton, who has moved to the Department for International Development.

The Northern Powerhouse was trumpeted by former Chancellor George Osborne as a project to rebalance the UK’s economy away from London.

There were fears that in the wake of Britain’s decision to leave the European Union, and resulting quagmire of legislation, documentation and agreements that will need to be updated, the momentum behind the Northern Powerhouse could fall by the wayside.

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However a Government spokesman said it “will continue to be a priority”.

Tory MP Andrew Percy

Percy said: “I’ve never chased a ministerial job… However, we do live in somewhat bizarre times.

“I’ve decided to accept this position and, as a proud Northerner, it is one of the few roles in Government I would actually quite relish.

“I hope having served 10 years as a local councillor before becoming an MP, I also have something to contribute on the local government front.

“I’ve always championed our area as a backbencher and now I get to champion the North within government.”