Shadow home secretary Andy Burnham has insisted George Osborne needs to invest more in the north of England to make up for years of inequality.
"The Westminster system, quite simply, has failed the north of England. It's left us with a very unequal country," he told Paul Ross. "The north has consistently, over many decades, got a poor deal."
To correct the balance, the Labour politician, and MP for Leigh in Greater Manchester, believes the Chancellor needs to back up promises he has made to invest more heavily in the north.
"Osborne’s really got to put his money behind this so-called northern powerhouse and invest in the most modern high-speed east to west rail across the north of England," he said. "If he wants a northern powerhouse, put your money where your mouth is.
"This [investment] is a continuation of what [the Labour party] were trying to do. It's not a party political issue, it's the right thing to do."
Burnham has announced his intention to run for mayor of Greater Manchester in 2017. A constituency MP in the region for 15 years, the 46-year-old denies claims that he sees the position as a stepping-stone to his eventual target of succeeding Jeremy Corbyn as leader of the Labour Party.
"I'm doing this because I want to commit myself to it," he insisted. "This is what bought me in to politics in the first place, it's what motivates me."