Prime Minister Rishi Sunak has said that the government is ‘completely committed’ to Carlisle MP John Stevenson’s vision that a ‘stronger north’ means a ‘stronger vision’.

The Prime Minister was speaking at the Northern Research Group’s (NRG) annual conference in Doncaster where northern Conservative MP’s have been discussing policy ahead of the launch of a ‘northern manifesto’ in October.

Earlier in the day, the chair of the NRG, John Stevenson, said that a ‘Northern Powerhouse 2.0’ would be in the manifesto, alongside a new high-speed trans-pennine rail route, a ‘minister for the north’ in government and a target to build 500,000 new homes across the region.

"I think that the northern powerhouse resonated with people, it captured the imagination, and that's what we want to recreate” said John Stevenson, speaking exclusively to the News & Star.

“The Northern Powerhouse is a very important aspect to the Conservatives winning at the next election.

“The route to a conservative election win at the next election is a road that runs through the north of England.”

Rishi Sunak echoed the words of John Stevenson as the hall of delegates from across the north that “there is no route to electoral success without you,” before declaring himself as a ‘Prime Minister for the North’.

“We need to grow the economy and I want the north to be at the heart of our economic growth,” said Sunak.

The Conservatives won seats in the last election in 2019 that they had never won before across the north and in Cumbria.

Labour is currently ahead in the polls and recent forecasts have suggested that they are set to retake many of the constituencies they lost in 2019 including Workington and Carlisle which they lost in 2010 and form a government for the first time in more than a decade.

In Doncaster on Friday afternoon, Rishi Sunak said that many voters in the north 'lent us their vote' at the last election and called on the party to deliver on the 'people’s priorities' to entice those voters to vote Conservative for a second time.

The date of the next general election has yet to be announced but it must be held before January 2025 with Cumbria set to be a key battleground.