EAST Lancashire's three backbench Tory MPs are in a new campaign group to ensure Prime Minister Boris Johnson sticks to his promise to 'level up' the North and South of England.

The 35-strong group has been founded by Rossendale and Darwen's Jake Berry.

It includes his Conservative colleagues Sara Britcliffe, who took Hyndburn from Labour at the last General Election, and Antony Higginbotham, who became the first Tory MP for Burnley for 109 years on December12

Former Northern Powerhouse minister Mr Berry said it was not 'about giving government a bad time' 'but making sure that this government delivers on its promise to level up the north, deliver that Northern Powerhouse and create wealth across the north of England'.

'He said: "There are arguments that we collectively as northern MPs make together, to create a compelling case for the government to invest in the north.

"We don't form a government unless we win the north."

Mr Berry recently accused Mr Johnson of enjoying his Covid-19 powers 'a little bit too much' and suggested the government had 'fallen into that fatal trap of making national decisions based on a London-centric view with London data'.

Ms Britcliffe, the youngest Conservtive MP at 24, said: "I don't need to join a group to speak up for Hyndburn but I have also the responsibility of making sure that we do deliver on our promise."