ANS Group boss Scott Fletcher has called for Manchester to be granted greater political powers, backing a campaign dubbed "Devo Manc".
The reseller's chairman, who regularly champions Manchester's status as an emerging technology hub, claims the city should be given more powers on issues such as health, education and business.
Earlier this month – amid fierce debate about devolution following the Scottish independence referendum – think tank ResPublica set out its "radical" proposals to give Greater Manchester more control of its future. It called for budgetary devolution for the city as well as extended legal powers.
Fletcher spoke out in favour of the campaign's aims.
"I say bring it on – viva the Republic of Mancunia," he declared.
"Manchester is a vibrant and growing city and if we get the devolution of power that appears to now be politically possible, then our great city and the wider North West can only benefit, giving us powers over a wide range of issues such as health, education and business support.
"The government should negotiate and ensure that the North West receives the power it deserves. This is why I am backing Devo Manc."
He said transport is key in ensuring businesses set up shop outside London.
"More and more companies of all sizes have migrated to the North West, where Manchester is rapidly developing itself as the UK's high-tech hub," he said.
"Another key area is transport policy: HS2 is a good project but it should link the north to the south rather than the south to the north because the north is where the greatest opportunity is for growth."
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