‘Time for a new deal’ Northern Tory plots leadership bid to ‘secure Brexit opportunities’

McCoy says Mordaunt could replace Boris Johnson

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In what is expected to be the most wide open contest in Conservative Party history, Mr Berry, the chairman of the Northern Research Group (NRG) has been urged by other Tory MPs in the North to throw his hat into the ring. A source close to Mr Berry has confirmed that he is considering the move but is expected to confirm that he will make a bid later today.

Mr Berry along with Attorney General Suella Braverman and former Brexit minister Steve Baker are the confirmed potential leadership candidates but are expected to be joined by an array of other candidates.

Foreign Secretary Liz Truss, Home Secretary Priti Patel, Chancellor Nadhim Zahawi, former Foreign Secretary Jeremy Hunt, former Chancellor Rishi Sunak and trade minister Penny Mordaunt are all expected to also announce their candidacies along with others.

While Mr Sunak and Ms Mordaunt are currently the favourites there is no clear choice unlike when Boris Johnson won in 2019 to “get Brexit done”.

But Tory MPs have made it clear that they want a clean start with many suggesting ministers who refused to resign should not win the contest.

According to a source close to Mr Berry, Northern colleagues have demanded he stand for leader, on a “new deal for Britain” platform and to “secure the opportunities of Brexit”.

The deal, according to one senior NRG source, is a plan to “unify every region, and ensure that the government is seen to be on the side of hard-working Britons.”

It is understood that the deal relies heavily on Berry’s speech to the NRG conference, where he demanded three policies enacted, to “deliver levelling up.”

The three policies touched on more powers to regions, a levelling up fund to benefit regions outside of London, and a world-class twin-tracked education system, with a heavy focus on skills.

Unlike other candidates, Berry has been  vocal on the cost of living crisis – calling for reversals to tax rises, claiming, “you cannot tax your way to prosperity.”

One northern MP said: “you’ll see others scrabbling for policies, but Jake is the only one who has an oven-ready offering.

“He’s banged on about small state, lower taxes and helping regional inequality all year.

Another source close to Berry said: “He appeals to people because he gets what matters. He is the only well known member of the party who has actually offered policies.”

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