A Stoke-on-Trent MP has called for the Home Office to establish a second headquarters in the city.
Jonathan Gullis, Conservative MP for Stoke-on-Trent North, raised the issue in the House of Commons, saying there could be ‘no better second home’ for the government department than the Potteries.
Mr Gullis says the city has great transport links – and described current Home Secretary Priti Patel as a ‘former resident’, referring to her time at Keele University.
The government is in the process of moving thousands of civil servant jobs out of London under the Places for Growth programme.
In February it was announced that Wolverhampton would become a second home to the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government. This is set to be the first departmental office outside London to have a regular ministerial presence.
Mr Gullis told MPs that the Home Office setting up a base in Stoke-on-Trent would give the local economy a major boost.
He said: “Stoke-on-Trent is one of the fastest growing economies, and one of the top places for jobs growth in England. Added to that we have excellent connectivity with the M6, the A50 corridor, four international airports within 60 minutes, and a 90-minute train ride to London.
“So will my right honourable friend agree with me, Staffordshire Police, Staffordshire Chambers of Commerce, and Staffordshire North and Stoke-on-Trent CAB, that there could be no better second home for the Home Office than Stoke-on-Trent, under the Places for Growth programme, bringing high skilled and well-paid jobs for the Stoke-on-Trent talent pool, and see a former resident, the Home Secretary, return to her adopted city.”
The government plans to move 22,000 civil service jobs out of London and the South East to other areas of the UK by 2030.
Work and Pensions Secretary Therese Coffey announced in March that her department would be creating a second HQ in Leeds.
It was also revealed last month that more than 1,000 civil service roles in the Cabinet Office and Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office would be relocated to Glasgow and East Kilbride respectively.
But there has been no announcement on whether the Home Office would be creating a second HQ.
The department is currently based at 2 Marsham Street in London, but nearly two-thirds of its 35,000-strong workforce are located outside the capital.
Leader of the House Jacob Rees-Mogg, in response to Mr Gullis’s question, invited him to ‘keep on campaigning’ for the Home Office move.
He said: “The government is committed to ensuring that the administration of government is less London-centric, and to locate more civil service roles and public bodies outside of London, and into the regions and nations of the United Kingdom.
“Places for Growth is working with departments on their relocation plans and a number of announcements have been made. That includes the Cabinet Office establishing a second headquarters in Glasgow, a joint headquarters the FCDO in East Kilbride, the Department for Transport building on its presence in Leeds and Birmingham, and a new economic campus in Darlington.
“So I think my honourable friend should keep on campaigning, and I will pass his message on to fellow ministers, particularly the Home Secretary.”
Top stories from today’s newsletter
Not signed up to the newsletter? Try it outhere
Sign up now to receive it for freehere