James Wharton clown

The credibility of the Tories’ minister for the so-called ‘Northern Powerhouse’ seems to plumb new depths on a daily basis — with figures from his own (northern) back yard beginning to round on him.

Steve Gibson, owner and chairman of Middlesbrough FC:

“We have a local MP, James Wharton, who is supposed to be responsible for the Northern Powerhouse.  He’s come across as an absolute clown. A joke … and he will become accountable at the next election.”

Wharton’s response — to claim that Teesside is “doing well” — only served to underscore Gibson’s point.

Doing well … if you ignore those 1,700 local job losses confirmed last week.

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