The Labour Party is promising to "close the gap" between spending in the north and south of England, ending the "bias" in transport investment.

Shadow chancellor John McDonnell is due to say on Saturday (4 February) that the south east has disproportionately benefitted from projects such as Crossrail and that under a Labour government, spending would be more proportionate.

Speaking in Liverpool, McDonnell will cite figures from the National Infrastructure Commission suggesting projected capital spending per head of population in the north of England will increase by just £1,491 by 2020-2021, compared with by £3,114 per head in London.

He will say Crossrail's £14.5bn price tag is four times the entire public investment budget for Yorkshire and six times that of the north east, reported the BBC.

"We have to put an end to the Whitehall view that what's good for the City of London is good for the country as a whole," he will say.

"It is time for the rest of the country to get a look in."

McDonnell, the key Jeremy Corbin ally, will say Labour would pass laws requiring ministers to audit capital spending in regions against their relative economic needs. They would also need to report on any disparities to Parliament.

He will say it will be the northern equivalent of the Barnett formula – the funding mechanism for Scotland, Northern Ireland and Wales for the past 40 years based on population size.

"The next Labour government will put in place the mechanisms needed to close that gap in funding," McDonnell will add.

"We will make sure that no government can ever again bias its own investment plans so heavily against the majority of the country."

John McDonnell
Shadow Chancellor of the Exchequer, John McDonnell. Peter Nicholls/ Reuters

Asked how he would invest in the north, he told the BBC that Labour wanted a northern Crossrail.

He said: "It's been argued for a long time. [Former deputy prime minister] John Prescott actually produced the idea several years ago.

"We'd like to see a Crossrail for the north which links Liverpool to Manchester to Leeds and then on to Hull and Newcastle, and in that way you can see the sort of project that is taking off in London at the moment distributed in the north as well."