ROSSENDALE and Darwen MP Jake Berry has pledged to be the voice of the north in government, not the voice of Government in the North'.

Speaking at a fringe event at this week's Conservative Party conference in Manchester fringe event, he promised to support campaigns for more transport investment in the region.

Mr Berry, appointed Northern Powerhouse minister after the election said: “I want the north to succeed, but not by dragging down the south.

"As we leave the EU, the south needs the north to be strong, as brothers in arms, to take on the global economy.

"I will be the voice of the north in government, not the voice of government in the north”.

On claims that rail and road spending was being skewed to the South-East of England, Mr Berry said: "It is completely unrealistic to compare transport investment in London, a city, to transport investment across a region.

"We all know that if you go to Cumbria, for example, there are far fewer people who need far fewer bits of public transport than you find in central London.

“But those of us who work, live and have spent most of our lives in the North of England know our Northern transport links are not good and they need investment.

"This is about generations of underinvestment.

“The first thing we need to do is acknowledge the problem.

"We then need to work out how we’re going to deal with it, so we set up Transport for the North, and we’ve promised £13bn, which is more than any Government has spent on transport."