Powerhouse minister Berry quits government

The Northern Powerhouse minister Jake Berry has quit the government.

The 41-year-old Rossendale and Darwen MP announced his decision at the end of a day of Westminster shocks during Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s Cabinet reshuffle.

He said he was turning down another role he had been offered by the PM because it involved international travel and with three children under the age of three, he could not commit to it.

According to reports today the Northern Powerhouse role in government will no longer include a place at the Cabinet table.

In a statement Mr Berry, who was offered a role in the Foreign Office, said: “It has been the greatest privilege of my life to fight for the North in Westminster.

“For the last two and a half years I have helped move the #NorthernPowerhouse from concept to Cabinet table.

“I firmly believe that the Northern Powerhouse was the foundation stone of the blue wall that delivered a Conservative majority Government.

“I chose to leave government after being offered another role that would have required substantial amounts of foreign travel.

Family will always come first and I felt unable to accept the offer.

“I have three children under three - the youngest of whom is less than a week old. Family will always come first and I felt unable to accept the offer.”

Mr Berry, who has played a key role in raising the Northern Powerhouse profile and pushing for devolution deals across the region, said he would continue to support the government and PM from the back benches.

Henri Murison, director of the Northern Powerhouse Partnership, paid tribute to Mr Berry’s work for the North.

He said: “As well as acting as a champion of devolution, he spoke up for projects such as HS2 and Northern Powerhouse Rail at the Cabinet table, standing up for his fellow northerners - an ally to business and civic leaders who worked incredibly hard in his brief.”

Denton and Reddish Labour MP Andrew Gwynne also paid tribute to Mr Berry. He told the Conservative MP: “We’ve had our political differences across the dispatch box, but thank you for your efforts in championing the north in government.”

Mr Berry’s move came at the end of a day Westminster shocks which saw Sajid Javid quit as Chancellor.

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