THE North East's leading business organisation has urged the two remaining Conservative leadership candidates to support our region's growth.

In a letter to Rishi Sunak and Liz Truss, North East England Chamber of Commerce's chief executive John McCabe said issues that need to be tackled include the need for investment in skills, transport and public services, progress with devolution and delivery on Levelling Up.

He said: "The new Prime Minister represents the immediate future leadership of the UK. They have an unparalleled opportunity to make the North East an exemplar of Levelling Up, an agenda that the Chamber has supported long before the phrase itself was used. By backing the priorities of businesses in the North East they can demonstrate Levelling Up in action and show that they genuinely speak on behalf of all places and people across the UK.

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"These calls from the business community in the region are evidence-led, pragmatic and proportionate to the scale of opportunity presented by the region. We urge both candidates, regardless of the outcomes of the race, to commit to work with us and our members for a stronger, fairer North East."

Mr McCabe also invited the new Prime Minister, when in post, to visit the region and meet business leaders to discuss their agenda for Government.