NEW Prime Minister Boris Johnson today faced immediate calls for more investment in road and rail links to East Lancashire.

Within hours of being elected as Conservative leader politicians of both major parties were calling for more cash for infrastructure in the North West.

Pendle Tory MP Andrew Stephenson urged him to find money to upgrade the railway line from Preston through Blackburn, Accrington and Burnley and extend it over the Pennines to Skipton and to tackle congestion at the Colne end of the M65.

Hyndburn Labour MP Graham Jones called for cash for East Lancashire’s rail and road links.

Mr Stephenson said: “I am delighted. I think Boris will bring energy, vision and leadership to break the Brexit deadlock.

“He has visited East Lancashire several times and is a strong supporter of the Northern Powerhouse agenda.

“I will be urging him to invest in manufacturing and in the Colne to Skipton rail extension, upgrading the East Lancashire line and sorting out the traffic congestion at the end of the M65 in Colne.”

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Mr Jones said: “Boris Johnson has the opportunity to invest the missing hundreds of millions of pounds on infrastructure so East Lancashire can be competitive.

“That includes £250m for the Colne to Skipton rail link, £1bn for the M65 extension and £1bn for a fast rail connection between East Lancashire to central Manchester. Given the years of Tory neglect, these are small amounts of money.”

Rossendale and Darwen MP and Northern Powerhouse minister Jake Berry said: “I’m really pleased with this result. Boris has made clear his unequivocal support for the Northern Powerhouse agenda and I expect to see him turn that into action. I will be looking for investment in transport infrastructure to the benefit of East Lancashire.”

Ribble Valley Tory MP Nigel Evans said: “I am delighted he has won by a clear margin. Boris needs to step up to the plate on protecting farming, vital to my constituency, how ever we leave the European Union.

“He also needs to step up to the plate on a better train service across the Northern region with new rolling stock, more stations and better punctuality as well as more investment in roads.”

Blackburn Labour MP Kate Hollern said: “He needs to take the job seriously. In East Lancashire we need major investment in public transport – both road and rail – and in public services.”

Burnley Labour MP Julie Cooper said: “Boris needs to work quickly to tackle the deep divides in our society left by nine years of Conservative government. Increasing funding for the police, fire brigade, education and the NHS would go some way to reverse the damage that Theresa May has caused to communities across East Lancashire.