IT is certainly not grim up north — at least according to one government minister.

In fact, MP Iain Duncan Smith said that Bolton beats London and would be a “great place to relocate” — before remembering that his constituency is still down south.

During an interview with The Bolton News' politics reporter, Elaine O’Flynn, he praised Bolton and the investment it has received in recent years.

Mr Duncan Smith said: “It’s a great place to relocate, actually — it certainly beats London.

“I shouldn’t say that, actually — I’m a London MP. Apart from my constituency, of course.

“You don’t have the commuting to work et cetera around London - this beats it hands down.

“It’s a great place, it’s not too difficult to get to, it’s accessible now - and when HS2 comes it will really bring these kinds of areas right into the centre ground.

”It’s where you want to invest. You want to be up here because you can be anywhere else in a short matter of time.”

More on Iain Duncan Smith's visit here: