IT is great that the Northern Research Group of 50 Tory MPs has thrown its weight behind the campaign to relocate Treasury jobs from London to the Tees Valley.

For decades, we have argued the need to spread the economic benefit of our civil service to the regions. This would also provide its members with some real life experience outside the bubble of our capital city so that they make better decisions.

The pandemic has made this argument stronger, not just because of the Government’s “levelling up” agenda, but also because internet sites like Zoom have shown you can hold meetings – you can even run the country – without all being in the same room in London.

So that our civil servants gain the most benefit, they need to be as close to the people as possible, not in our gilded and fashionable cities, but in the authentic places where voters made immense decisions at the last election – decisions which changed the course of British political history.

The Northern Research Group has seen that the case for the Tees Valley, with a proposed site next to the airport, makes immense sense, and we are sure that the Chancellor of the Exchequer, Rishi Sunak, will need no convincing of the merit of a short commute from his constituency home near Northallerton which is just down the road.