Updated: Saturday, 11th July 2020 @ 7:39am

General Election 2015: Theresa May says parties working together is key for Northern Powerhouse dream

General Election 2015: Theresa May says parties working together is key for Northern Powerhouse dream

| By Will Harris - MM Exclusive

Home Secretary Theresa May says George Osborne’s Northern Powerhouse is an ‘important example’ of parties working together for the best solution in the North.

During visit to Bury, May also defended her record as Home Secretary, pointing to reductions in crime and the launch of investigations into child sexual exploitation.

Asked if increased cross-party co-operation will be necessary as more powers are devolved regionally, she said: “We recognise this is an issue and that government needs to put this support in.

“Obviously that’s been welcomed by Labour representatives in the locality and so it is both of us working together for what is believed to be the best solution in terms of jobs and securing the future for people here in the North.”

At event at Holy Cross Sixth Form College and University Centre, the Cabinet minister also said it’s ‘up to political parties in Parliament’ to bring such positive collaboration to Westminster.

Despite cuts to frontline policing across Greater Manchester, during which around 1,100 GMP officers have been lost since 2010, May said the positive news was that crime had fallen during the same period.

She said: “There’s been a lot of change in policing, but in the Greater Manchester area crime is down by 18 percent, and over the last five years crime is down by a quarter.

“We’ve also got the Justice Goddard independent inquiry into child sexual abuse, and we’re doing a lot of work with the National Crime Agency on how forces deal with that.

“Peter Fahey attended a summit that the Prime Minister held on this issue, and we looked at how police can work with other agencies locally to make sure they are identifying problems and what action can be taken.”

The Home Secretary faced a Q&A session from students interested in or studying politics at the college, covering hot topics including ISIS, immigration, the EU referendum and lowering the voting age.

GRILLING: Theresa May faces questions from students in Bury.

On immigration, one student asked: “Given your failure to control immigration in the last parliament, did you lie at the last election or were you just incompetent?”

In response, May said: “Yes we haven’t met our net migration target, but we have brought in controls for immigration outside the European Union.

“There are things we need to do in terms of EU migration, but one of the things that’s happened in the latest figures is migration inside the European Union has doubled.

“What I’ve seen over the last five years is with immigration it’s not the case that you take one step and then stand back and that’s the way you achieve.

“You constantly have to be looking at it to make sure that there aren’t new loopholes in the system, that there aren’t new issues that are arising, you’re constantly looking at it, constantly monitoring it, constantly having to make sure that the rules that we’ve got are ones that are right, that are fair and that are just.”