NEARLY all of our Conservative MPs seem to be supportive of the letter sent to the Prime Minister yesterday by former Northern Powerhouse minister Jake Berry, although they probably don’t see it in the revolutionary terms described by one Conservative-supporting newspaper which said: “Tory party on cusp of civil war over North-South divide.”

Their two central claims do deserve the Prime Minister’s attention. Firstly, how does the north extricate itself from Tier 3. What are the goalposts here? Is it the numbers of infected people per 100,000? Is it the number of over 60s infected? Is it the rate of increase?

If areas understood the criteria, perhaps they wouldn’t be so afraid of becoming becalmed in Tier 3 with their local businesses withering away.

Secondly, Boris Johnson’s promise of “levelling up”, along with his promise to get Brexit done, was attractive to many northern voters. The virus, though, is increasing the disparity between north and south on almost every measure, be it economic or educational, and it has felt that the Government has been at war with the north over everything from the Manchester negotiations to free school meals.

Mr Johnson needs to heed the MPs’ words and begin to fulfil some of his promises.