At Prime Minister’s Question Time

Andrea Leadsom, MP for South Northapmtonshire got to ask a question at Prime Minister’s Question time yesterday:

Q15. [30555] Andrea Leadsom (South Northamptonshire) (Con): Is my right hon. Friend aware of the concern of many people at reports in the press that he plans to support high-speed rail regardless of next year’s consultation? Will he spread a bit of Christmas cheer by reassuring my constituents that he will keep an open mind and that he will not be railroading through a railroad?

The Prime Minister: I completely understand the concern that there is all the way along the proposed line. Obviously, people are worried about it and, yes, this is a proper consultation-it must be a proper consultation and it will be. As I have said before at the Dispatch Box, for 50 years we have been trying to deal with the north-south divide and have a more effective regional policy. I do believe that high-speed rail has a really effective role to play in bringing our country closer together and spreading economic benefit throughout all our country.

If we want to spend £17 billion of taxpayers money to spread economic benefit, is the best use of that money really to build yet another train route between Euston and Birmingham? (Witnesses to the Transport Select Committee might not agree.)

And before anyone accuses Andrea Leadsom, a backbencher, of being too self-interested, perhaps they should listen to what Ed Balls, the Labour shadow cabinet member, had to say on the Daily Politics show on Wednesday.

When asked about HS2, the shadow Home Secretary’s response was “as long as it comes to Leeds, where I’m an MP, I’m in favour of it.”

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One comment to “At Prime Minister’s Question Time”
  1. I was interested in the Prime Minister final sentence, “I do believe that high-speed rail has a really effective role to play in bringing our country closer together and spreading economic benefit throughout all our country.” How does a narrow north/south railway line bring economic benefit THROUGHOUT ALL our country? Not sure how it helps Bristol, Cardiff and Cambridge, for example, let alone those towns where there will be no station on the HS2 line, ie the majority.

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