Parliament should be moved to the north of England under radical plans to ‘rebalance’ the country, peers have been told.
Liberal Democrat Lord Greaves said growth and investment was being ‘dragged into the already congested hot-house of London and the South East’.
He called for the creation of a new capital city somewhere near the geographical centre of the country, either in the Midlands or the North.
But Cabinet Office spokeswoman Baroness Chisholm of Owlpen said the Government had made no assessment of such a radical plan.
At question time, she said it was not for ministers to decide where Parliament was sited but for both MPs and peers.
Lord Greaves said the so-called Northern Powerhouse amounted to ‘little more than a few new railway lines and roads, welcome though they will be’.
He said: ‘What we need to rebalance this country is a real new vision in which a wholly new capital city is built somewhere near the geographical centre of the country, in the Midlands or the North.’
This could provide a new centre of government for the country, ‘taking power to the Powerhouse’ and only by something as ‘radical and visionary as this will we ever tackle the problem of imbalance’.
Lady Chisholm said: ‘This is a radical suggestion. I feel Parliament should really be in the capital city but it’s not up to me. It isn’t even up to the Government to decide. It’s the decision of both Houses.’
She said the Northern Powerhouse was going ahead but was about private sector growth, not public sector.