Live updates as Boris Johnson makes speech to the North at Great Northern Conference

The Prime Minister is joining politicians and business leaders from across the north of England to discuss how to grow the economy and grow opportunities in the region at the Great Northern Conference, run by JPIMedia and The Northern Powerhouse Partnership.

Thursday, 22nd October 2020, 9:35 am

Staged as a virtual conference because of the coronavirus outbreak, the event will include debates about the biggest challenges facing leaders in the fields of business, education and local government.

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Boris Johnson will address the Great Northern Conference (Photo by LEON NEAL/POOL/AFP via Getty Images)

Live updates as Boris Johnson talks to Great Northern Conference

Last updated: Thursday, 22 October, 2020, 09:47

  • Conference opens at 9.30am with speech from Dan Jarvis
  • Boris Johnson and Grant Shapps also set to speak at virtual event
  • George Osborne to make speech about his Northern Powerhouse vision
  • Get involved by using the hashtag #onenorth on Twitter

After the two speeches by Dan Jarvis and George Osborne, a discussion on levelling up will take place from 9.55am.

After a short break, three sessions will take place concurrently on culture, reinvigorating cities and health at 11am.

A session on the future of travel follows at 11.45am, and then after lunch, Boris Johnson will be making his speech at 1pm.

A session on small businesses takes place a 1.10pm, following by a further three concurrent sessions on digital infrastructure, energy and engineering. 

Grant Shapps will also make a speech, at 2.50pm, following by a session on the voice of the northern leaders and closing remarks from Henri Murison, the director of the Northern Powerhouse Partnership.

Hello, and welcome to our live blog on today’s Great Northern Conference.

Boris Johnson is set to be making a speech to the North, so we’ll bring you live updates on that, plus everything else that is going on throughout the day.

Sheffield City Region Mayor Dan Jarvis will open the conference, with a speech saying the PMs levelling-up agenda is on a knife-edge.

He will tell the conference that Boris Johnson has just weeks to save his plans to ‘level’up’ the North in his keynote speech, which starts at 9.30am.

The former minister for the Northern Powerhouse has also spoken today on why it’s time to take the metro mayors in the North seriously.

It is vital that they listen to leaders on the ground. As well as figures like Andy Burnham and Dan Jarvis, this includes the huge swathe of Blue Wall Conservatives who have been working flat out to ensure  their constituents are protected and prioritised at this time of crisis.

Writing for The Yorkshire Post, Jake Berry MP said:

Dan Jarvis opening conference

Dan Jarvis has taken to the stand to make his keynote speech and officially open the Great Northern Conference 2020.

Mr Jarvis says the UK has the worst regional disprarity in the world. 

He says the country is on course to be ‘levelled-down’ as opposed to ’levelled-up’.

Failing to realise our potential is not just a waste. It’s an act of national self-harm.

Dan Jarvis

The clock is truly running down for levelling up.

Dan Jarvis

‘Credible and conscientious'

‘Credible and conscientious'

Dan Jarvis ends his speech by saying if we are to level up the country, then the moment to act is now.

George Osborne next up

Former Chancellor and chair of the Northern Powerhouse Partnership George Osborne is now making a speech.

The NPP is “more than just a slogan” he says.

Serious economic theory

“At the heart of the Northern Powerhouse is a serious economic theory, and the theory is that individually, the towns and cities and different counties of the North are great, they’ve got incredible histories they’ve got great strengths, but individually, they’re not big enough to make a big punch on the world stage and the global economy.”

George Osborne
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