As Cameron steps down, Osborne plots a way to protect his own political legacy

George Osborne

Former chancellor George Osborne is close to launching a new think tank to keep alive one of his flagship policies, City A.M reports.

Osborne is said to be in the final stages of establishing a project focused on his Northern Powerhouse agenda, a central tenet of his economic and political thinking, designed to boost productivity in the North through a combination of infrastructure investment and the devolution of powers from Westminster.

In recent weeks doubts have emerged over Prime Minister Theresa May’s faith in the previous government’s specific focus on Northern regions, with May instead preferring to focus on a wider industrial strategy that takes in all parts of the country.

May has also raised questions over other key Osborne policies, including his enthusiasm for investment from China and his commitment to balancing the books by the end of the decade.

It comes almost two months after Osborne issued a robust defence of his record at the Treasury in the annual Margaret Thatcher memorial lecture, hosted by the Centre for Policy Studies.

Osborne, who was criticised by Brexit campaigners for heavy-handed warnings of economic catastrophe if the UK left the EU, also hinted at a possible return to frontline politics, saying he had “much more to contribute to our nation’s discussions in the years ahead.”

Osborne’s office declined to comment on plans for the think tank.