Tees Valley Mayor Ben Houchen has said he was left “speechless” at Liz Truss; plans to cut pay for civil servants in the North East.

The Tory leadership contender announced than she would end national pay deals, meaning wages could be cut in areas where the cost of living is lower.

Truss has faced widespread condemnation for the plans from cross-party politicians and experts.

Read more: Liz Truss' plans would cut North East teachers and nurses pay

Now Tees Valley Mayor Ben Houchen has said he was left “speechless” by the plans which he said would undo levelling up.

Reacting to the news Houchen, who is supporting Rishi Sunak to be leader, said: “Actually speechless.

“There is simply no way you can do this without a massive pay cut for 5.5m people including nurses, police officers and our armed forces outside London.

“So much that we’ve worked for in places like Teesside, would be undone.”

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The current Foreign Secretary has promised to save up to £11bn a year with cuts to the civil service high on her agenda.

Reacting to the plans last night Labour’s Deputy Leader Angela Rayner said the plans would “level down” the UK.

She said: “Liz Truss is declaring war on herself with this recipe for levelling down.

“A race to the bottom that would cut the pay of school and NHS workers outside London, widening the divide and punishing the North.

“This out-of-touch Tory Government’s commitment to levelling up is dead.”

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