The role of local government will be ‘vital’ in Theresa May’s vision for the country when she becomes prime minister, according to communities secretary Greg Clark.
Speaking at the local government all-party parliamentary group’s summer reception last night, Mr Clark said he was ‘confident’ local government would be ‘vital’ in Ms May’s premiership and insisted she could ‘count on a fantastically capable and highly-motivate set of partners’.
Mr Clark, who was a supporter of Ms May in the race to succeed Mr Cameron, said ‘substantial progress’ had been made on devolution and he was keen for keen for the ‘ambitious’ agenda to continue.
He said: ‘The question now is not whether we should devolve. The question is how much, how fast, what powers and when.
‘I think the divisions that were on view when we looked at who voted where on Brexit drew attention to divisions that were there for some time. The answer, it seems to me, is more responsibility, more local leadership and more visibility of that leadership.
‘We have to extend powers away from Westminster and Whitehall, and put them in the hands of local leaders.’
Mr Clark was also quick to praise local government’s role in a time of economic and political instability following the vote to leave the EU.
Mr Clark continued: ‘Local government has been a remarkable source of stability in our national life.’