On Thursday Douglas Carswell, MP for Clacton, announced he was leaving the Conservative Party and joining UKIP.
He said he made the decision because he believes UKIP is the only party that can break up the “cosy Westminster elite”.
In his blog last October, he posted his views on the “wretched” HS2, and asked the question “How should I vote on HS2?”
But over HS2 I remain resolutely uncertain.
Of course, there’s the cost – already in the zillions and certain to rise. Plus the fact no private investors seem willing to put their own money into the scheme.
Then there is the violation of private property interests all along the route. Not to mention the Westminster group-think lining up behind the scheme. I see all that.
But as I busily research the competing claims about capacity, I have one real nagging doubt….”
A few days later in the Telegraph last October, it looks like there had been pressure put on him from the “small clique in Downing Street, sitting on a sofa”:
…My every instinct makes me want to vote against HS2; the cost, the corporate vested interests lined up behind it, the Whitehall group-think.
But I cannot. Why?
On page 23 of the Conservative manifesto, on which I stood for election in 2010, is a straight forward promise to support the ruddy thing.
Of course, an individual MP must be free to ditch the party line – particularly if there is a constituency interest at stake…