This week’s reshuffle has affected several MPs with constituencies on the HS2 route. We hope that those leaving cabinet will follow Cheryl Gillan’s example will now speak out strongly against HS2.
The two MPs losing their cabinet posts are Nick Hurd, formerly the Minister for Civil Society and Dominic Grieve, the Attorney General. Dominic was replaced as Attorney General by Jeremy Wright, MP for Kenilworth and Southam also affected by HS2.
Frank Dobson, the Camden MP, has also announced that he will be standing down as MP following next year’s general election.
Speaking about Nick Hurd, Lottie Jones, chair of Ruislip Against HS2 said: “We sincerely hope that he will now be able to take a stand on HS2.
“The reshuffle means that he is able to speak out more on HS2 for his constituents and we hope that he will. He has in the last few months seemed to pick it up a gear with HS2 and has been really looking into it.
“The feedback that we have had this week in Ruislip and Harefield is that people are very pleased that now he is not in cabinet his hands are not tied and they expect him to do more for constituents on HS2.”
Mr Hurd said: “My position on HS2 is the same. The current proposal is unacceptable. If we don’t get the changes we need then I will vote against it at the next stage. In the meantime I will throw everything at lobbying for those changes.
Dominic Grieve, MP for Beaconsfield, said about HS2 “It will be my priority to get the best deal for my local constituents. I will be in a good position to mitigate. I was always able to work for the constituents but now I am in more of a position to speak on this.”
In the Department for Transport, Stephen Hammond left his role as Parliamentary Under-Secretary. Incomers to the department are John Hayes, MP for South Holland and The Deepings, formerly Minister without Portfolio and Claire Perry MP for Devises.
Another notable change was Philip Hammond, who was Conservative Secretary of State for Transport from 2010-11, who is now in charge of the Foreign Office.