Lord Jim O’Neill of Gatley has become the first minister to quick Theresa May’s new government.
Amid speculation that he was unhappy at the new Prime Minister’s policies on China, the ‘Northern Powerhouse’ project and grammar schools, the former Goldman Sachs chief economist led the development of George Osborne’s ‘Northern Powerhouse’ plans.
He has also confirmed that he will be leaving the government benches in the House of Lords, instead sitting as a cross bencher.
In his resignation letter he wrote,
“I primarily joined however for the specific purpose of helping deliver the Northern Powerhouse, and to help boost our economic ties with key growing economies around the world, especially China and India and other rapidly emerging economies.
“The case for both to be at the heart of British economic policy is even stronger following the referendum, and I am pleased that, despite speculation to the contrary, both appear to be commanding your personal attention.
“I am leaving knowing that I can play some role supporting these critical initiatives as a non-governmental person.”
The Gatley born O’Neill was Treasury spokesman in the House of Lords and was tasked with spearheading the Northern Powerhouse Project in May 2015.
The fifty nine year old attended Burnage Comprehensive, and was probably best known for coining the term BRIC referring to Brazil, Russia, India and China, four rapidly developing countries outside of the traditional developed world of the G7.
In Manchester he is probably better known as an avid United Fan who briefly sat on the board before the Glazer take over and was a member of the so called Red Knights who attempted to take control of the club back in 2010.
He is chairman of the Greater Manchester Local Enterprise Partnership Advisory Board, Chairman of the Cities Growth Commission and also an honoury Professor of Economics at the University of Manchester.