Houchenism – the brand of can-do Tory threatening the left and right old guard | Will Hutton

With a 73% majority and a string of interventionist initiatives, Tees Valley mayor, Ben Houchen, is reinventing Conservatism

After Thatcherism and Corbynism, welcome to Houchenism, the doctrine of Tees Valley mayor, Ben Houchen, and endorsed by a whopping 73% of Teesside voters. This 34-year-old northern loyalist is the Tory party’s contemporary version of Michael Heseltine, the lone standard bearer at Thatcher’s zenith of a willingness to intervene “at breakfast, lunch and supper”. Houchen is today’s Tory carrying the Heseltine torch, intervening to reinvent Teesside with the massive backing of his electorate. And a generation later, this Heseltine de nos jours has the backing, not the loathing, of the prime minister. It will not have escaped Boris Johnson’s notice, a self-described Brexity Hezza, that Houchen’s intervention is working big time, economically and politically.

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