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O’Neill appointed Northern Powerhouse tsar

The UK government has appointed the economist Jim O’Neill to oversee its plans for devolution in the English regions, including the emergence of the Northern Powerhouse.

O’Neill, a former Goldman Sachs banking executive, will be given a peerage and will work unpaid in the Treasury. Prior to this appointment, he has carried out two separate reviews for the coalition government: one, complete, is on the role of cities in creating economic growth, and another investigating an international approach to tackling antimicrobial resistance is due to make its final report in June 2016.

On 14 May, Osborne said in a speech in Manchester that O’Neill’s work with the City Growth Commission had inspired the thinking behind plans to encourage more prosperity in the north of England. The concept of the Northern Powerhouse, which would bring together the cities of the north to rival the economic power of London and the south-east, was first described by Osborne in a speech in June 2014.

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