January 20, 2020
Make sense of politics. Sign up to the Waugh Zone and get the political day in a nutshell.
Tories Split On HS2 Amid Warning That Costs Could Spiral To £106bn
Tory splits over the HS2 high speed rail link have burst open after a leaked government-commissioned review warned it could cost up to £106bn.
A group of 30 pro-HS2 Tory MPs from the north and Midlands, including senior ministers, have put their name to a private letter to Boris Johnson underlining their support for the project.
It came in response to reports that more than a dozen Tories, including from the new intake who seized so-called “red wall” northern and Midlands seats from Labour, were prepared to meet the prime minister to urge him to cancel HS2.
The split adds to the dilemma Johnson faces as he prioritises infrastructure investment as part of his efforts to close the north-south divide and serve voters who backed the Tories at the election. 
The review led by former HS2 Ltd chairman Doug Oakervee, leaked to the Financial Times, found there is “considerable risk” that the high-speed rail project’s cost will rise by up to 20% from between £81bn and £88bn.
It was initially allocated far less – £56bn – in 2015.
The review also recommended that the second stage of the project, to take the line beyond the initial London-Birmingham link onwards to Manchester and Leeds, should be paused to probe whether it would be better to downgrade it to a mix of high-speed and conventional lines. 
But Kevin Hollinrake, who is organising the pro-HS2 letter alongside Crewe and Nantwich’s new Tory MP Kieran Mullan, told HuffPost UK: “If we have a change of heart now, you are still going to deliver HS2 to Birmingham.
“What’s the rest of the country going to think of that?
“The north is left out again – it would look very bad.”Worst of all worlds would be HS2 only reaching as far as Birmingham, which is the most likely outcome if Phase 2 (The North) is suspended. https://t.co/WNhHmMbRCO— Kevin Hollinrake MP (@kevinhollinrake) January 20, 2020Hollinrake welcomed the “robust challenge” from Tory colleagues but said they were wrong to portray the decision as an “either/or” choice between HS2 and boosting transport within the north.
The MP for Thirsk and Malton, in North Yorkshire, is a supporter of the proposed northern powerhouse rail (NPR) link between Liverpool, Manchester, Bradford, Leeds and Newcastle. 
But he said: “It is the wrong thing to superconnect the north into one geographic region and then not connect it to the rest of the country.”
Half the infrastructure for NPR will be also be shared with HS2, which will be built first, Hollinrake said.
He is keeping his letter private as a number of ministers have signed it and need their views to be kept private, including “very senior people”.
The MP said he has also had “very positive” conversations about HS2 in the past with “senior treasury ministers”.
His impression is that the government is currently “on the fence”, adding: “I think if you’re on the fence on something like this, at a time like this, I think you should come down on the side of investment.”
On the other side of the Tory party, Dehenna Davison said the project would not give value for money and called for transport between northern towns and cities to be prioritised.
Davison, who in December won Bishop Auckland in County Durham for the Tories for the first time ever, said: “I’m all in favour of investment in infrastructure. 
“However, with the ballooning costs of the HS2 project, I find it difficult to believe it will provide value for money for taxpayers. 
“I also believe that our infrastructure agenda should prioritise the north, and focus on connecting our northern communities, rather than entering around the journey times to London. 
“To guarantee we spread opportunity across the country we must ensure that we have effective transport links to and from our great cities and towns in the north.”Transport investment alone will not ‘rebalance’ the UK economyThe Oakervee review concluded that the government should “on balance” continue with the 250mph railway but that this was subject to “a number of qualifications”.
It said “further work” is needed to assess HS2′s impact on regional growth, and warned that it is “hard” to say what economic benefits will result from building it.
“Transport investment alone will not ‘rebalance’ the UK economy,” the review adds.
Greater Manchester mayor Andy Burnham described the leak as “quite worrying” and claimed that using conventional lines in the north would be a “second-class option”.
He told BBC Breakfast: “It’s the same old story. London and the south gets whatever it wants, and it’s all about penny-pinching in the north.”
Judith Blake, leader of Leeds City Council, said: “It is time to bring the damaging speculation around HS2 to an end with the prompt publication of the Oakervee review and an unambiguous government commitment to deliver the project in full.”
Several construction bosses also claimed scrapping the project would cause “irreparable damage” to the industry and suggested it could cost jobs.
The chief executives of Balfour Beatty, Skanska and Morgan Sindall were among the signatories to a letter to Johnson, seen by the Times, which urged him to approve the scheme and noted it would take “many years to get an equivalent pipeline of work in place” if HS2 were cancelled.
A decision on whether to go ahead with the project will be made in “weeks rather than months”, transport secretary Grant Shapps said.
£8bn has already been spent on the project.Related... Exclusive: Labour Membership Surges By More Than 100,000 Ahead Of Leadership Vote No.10 Casts Doubt On Jeremy Corbyn's Move To Get John Bercow A Peerage Labour MP Zarah Sultana Slams 'Crushing' Student Debt, Brandishing Loan Statement In Commons
Related Stories
Latest News
Top news around the world
Russo-Ukrainian War

The Russo-Ukrainian War has been ongoing between Russia and Ukraine since February 2014.

Russia's war in Ukraine has proven almost every assumption wrong, with Europe now wondering what left is safe to assume.

Around the World

Celebrity News

> Latest News in Media

Watch It
Madonna’s most bizarre TikTok and Instagram videos of 2022 | Page Six Celebrity News
December 30, 2022
Ggk_RlohXuI
Teresa Giudice and Luis Ruelas stand by sex multiple times a day: It’s ‘normal’ | Page Six
December 30, 2022
AljKbtgRGnc
Lisa Hochstein shared video confronting Lenny Hochstein & girlfriend at Miami club #shorts | PageSix
December 30, 2022
j_JVk60r6EI
'Channel 5' Creator Andrew Callaghan Talks BTS of 'This Place Rules' Documentary Feature
December 30, 2022
dJit_YG5fjg
#brendanfraser on getting jacked to play 'George of the Jungle' after 'Airheads" with #adamsandler
December 30, 2022
bkwreE4eMRQ
Selena Gomez, Ryan Gosling and Julia Fox Top the List Of Variety's Best Red Carpet Moments Of 2022
December 29, 2022
pv2A-331cLg
Wiz Khalifa Joins Neek Bucks For Upcoming 'Shot Caller' Video | TMZ
December 26, 2022
TxkRr1jj-gk
Andrew Zimmern Says TikTok Recipes Need to Stop This Holiday Season | TMZ
December 26, 2022
DdlO88KfJoY
Top 7 WTF Moments of 2022 | TMZ
December 26, 2022
3JA-5abr6A4
Most HIGHLY ANTICIPATED Movies of 2023 | E! News
January 01, 2023
3-1K1VSRjys
22 Pop Culture Moments That Defined 2022: Link in Comments! #shorts | E! News
December 31, 2022
MNnChuudoSA
Suspect Charged With Murder in Idaho College Killings | E! News
December 31, 2022
aeonRlI5xL0
TV Schedule
Late Night Show
Watch the latest shows of U.S. top comedians

Sports

Latest sport results, news, videos, interviews and comments
Latest Events
01
Jan
ENGLAND: Premier League
Tottenham Hotspur - Aston Villa
01
Jan
ENGLAND: Premier League
Nottingham Forest - Chelsea
01
Jan
ENGLAND: Championship
Coventry - Bristol City
01
Jan
ENGLAND: Championship
Blackburn - Cardiff City
01
Jan
ENGLAND: Championship
Huddersfield - Luton
01
Jan
ENGLAND: Championship
Millwall - Rotherham
01
Jan
ENGLAND: Championship
Blackpool - Sunderland
31
Dec
ENGLAND: Premier League
Manchester City - Everton
31
Dec
ENGLAND: Premier League
Wolves - Manchester United
31
Dec
ENGLAND: Premier League
Brighton - Arsenal
31
Dec
SPAIN: La Liga
Barcelona - Espanyol
31
Dec
SPAIN: La Liga
Real Sociedad - Osasuna
31
Dec
ENGLAND: Premier League
Bournemouth - Crystal Palace
31
Dec
ENGLAND: Premier League
Newcastle United - Leeds
31
Dec
ENGLAND: Premier League
Fulham - Southampton
31
Dec
SPAIN: La Liga
Villarreal - Valencia
30
Dec
SPAIN: La Liga
Real Valladolid - Real Madrid
30
Dec
ENGLAND: Premier League
Liverpool - Leicester City
30
Dec
ENGLAND: Championship
Birmingham - Hull City
30
Dec
ENGLAND: Championship
Stoke City - Burnley
30
Dec
ENGLAND: Championship
Norwich City - Reading
30
Dec
ENGLAND: Premier League
West Ham United - Brentford
30
Dec
ENGLAND: Championship
Swansea City - Watford
30
Dec
SPAIN: La Liga
Celta Vigo - Sevilla
30
Dec
SPAIN: La Liga
Cadiz - Almeria
30
Dec
SPAIN: La Liga
Getafe - Mallorca
29
Dec
SPAIN: La Liga
Atletico Madrid - Elche
29
Dec
ENGLAND: Championship
West Bromwich Albion - Preston NE
29
Dec
ENGLAND: Championship
Blackpool - Sheffield United
28
Dec
ENGLAND: Premier League
Leeds - Manchester City
27
Dec
ENGLAND: Premier League
Manchester United - Nottingham Forest
27
Dec
ENGLAND: Premier League
Chelsea - Bournemouth
26
Dec
ENGLAND: Premier League
Arsenal - West Ham United
26
Dec
ENGLAND: Premier League
Brentford - Tottenham Hotspur
26
Dec
ENGLAND: Premier League
Aston Villa - Liverpool
Find us on Instagram
at @feedimo to stay up to date with the latest.
Featured Video You Might Like
zWJ3MxW_HWA L1eLanNeZKg i1XRgbyUtOo -g9Qziqbif8 0vmRhiLHE2U JFCZUoa6MYE UfN5PCF5EUo 2PV55f3-UAg W3y9zuI_F64 -7qCxIccihU pQ9gcOoH9R8 g5MRDEXRk4k
Copyright © 2020 Feedimo. All Rights Reserved.