COMMUNITIES minister and East Lancashire MP Jake Berry has rejected a claim the government was is not doing enough to promote the Northern Powerhouse agenda.

He was responding to think-tank IPPR North's claim that austerity had undermined efforts to devolve power from London to the region.

Its report praised the creation of Transport for the North with a £70 billion budget and higher than UK average figures for economic growth and employment since the initiative was launched in 2014.

But it highlights big falls in public spending and public sector employment in the North and as rise of 200,000 in the number of the region's children living in poverty.

Luke Raikes from IPPR North said: "The government must go further with devolution and investment to the region."

Rossendale and Darwen MP and Northern Powerhouse Minister Mr Berry said: "Five years on, the Northern Powerhouse remains a priority for the Government and is delivering results for people. We’re keeping our promise for more decisions in the North to be made by the North.”