Midland Tory MPs Plan To Launch A New Caucus Before Christmas
Exclusive: Conservative MPs in the Midlands are in talks about forming a new intra-party grouping, with the aim of launching before the end of this year.
PoliticsHome can reveal that Tories in the region plan to become a more formal unit so they can lobby the government on levelling up and securing investment with greater effectiveness.
MPs involved in putting the group together stressed that talks were at an early stage.
However, they said they hoped to be up and running by the time the government publishes its highly-anticipated white paper on levelling up, which is expected by the end of next month.
An MP involved in discussions said they and fellow organisers wanted the group to work with government on delivering for the Midlands and inisisted that it would not seek to be confrontational.
"It will not be a party within a party," they told PoliticsHome.
The group is expected to be broadly similar in size and organisation to the Northern Research Group (NRG), which is led by Rossendale and Darwen MP Jake Berry. MPs behind it want to meet regularly and act as a "funnel" for communicating the feelings of members to the government.
However, MPs involved played down the prospect of it being called the Midlands Research Group.
The Midlands is a key part of the electoral map, containing numerous so-called "Red Wall" seats that played a pivotal role in Boris Johnson's victory at the 2019 general election.
MPs in the region are keen to make sure the government delivers on its promises to the region, with one who spoke to PoliticsHome about the plan expressing concern that they were behind the NRG when it comes to lobbying senior ministers.
Earlier this week PoliticsHome revealed that Michael Gove, the Secretary of State for Levelling-Up, Housing and Communities, had instructed department officials to engage directly with NRG MPs on levelling up.
The NRG is also meeting Andy Haldane, the former Bank of England chief economist who the government recently appointed to help it tackle regional inequality.
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