Former chancellor George Osborne has voiced sympathy with Liverpool mayor Joe Anderson’s decision to quit the Northern Powerhouse Partnership.
The Liverpool mayor announced he was leaving the partnership because he claimed the Government refused to listen to it and other regional bodies such as Transport for the North.
He told the BBC: ‘We can’t cut our way out of austerity.
'You have to invest for the long-term economic benefit and there is overwhelming evidence that investing in connections across the north would be good for UK plc.
'There are several bodies in the north, such as the Northern Powerhouse Partnership and Transport for the North, providing Government with this evidence but I no longer see the point of being a part of these bodies set up by a Government which isn’t prepared to listen to them.’
Mr Osborne, who chairs the partnership, added: ‘I understand his frustration with the Government over the Northern Powerhouse agenda, especially its lack of vision for high speed rail.
‘It’s precisely why we need our Northern Powerhouse Partnership to be as strong and as active as it is, and will continue to be.’
Sheffield City Council leader, Cllr Julie Dore, and Manchester City Council leader, Sir Richard Leese, remain members of the partnership’s board.