THERE is something very odd about the way the list of hospitals which are going to start administering the Covid vaccine was drawn up.

There was a good splattering of locations across England up to Leeds, but then north of Leeds there were vast swathes of empty space on both sides of the Pennines with just one hospital picked out in Newcastle.

By contrast, there were more hospitals in Cornwall and Devon (largely Tier 1) than there were in North Yorkshire, Durham, Tees Valley, Cumbria, Tyne and Wear, Northumberland, nearly all of which is in Tier 3.

By coincidence, as soon as the local media asked questions about the apparent omission yesterday, James Cook on Teesside was suddenly included.

The NHS is facing immense logistical difficulties, but someone with an ounce of political nous should have looked at the map and seen how newly blue seats were not included.

It’s no good just talking about levelling up. It has to be at the forefront of all the minds in government. Even in an exercise, the north, which is a long, long way away, cannot be overlooked. There is a long, long way to go before we even begin to level up.