Politics latest news: PM ‘betrayed the North’ by scrapping HS2 Leeds link, says Keir Starmer

Boris Johnson has “betrayed the North” by scrapping the HS2 Eastern leg to Leeds and scaling down the Northern Powerhouse Rail (NPR), Sir Keir Starmer said. During a visit to a station in Bradford, which was on the proposed NPR route, the Labour leader accused Mr Johnson of having “let down everybody in the North” and having “derailed the trains” with his revised rail plan. He said: “Because the Prime Minister made two very important promises: HS2 all the way to Leeds, a new line, that promise has been ripped up.

He also promised Northern Powerhouse Rail, a new line from Manchester to Leeds, and that plan has been ripped up.” Mr Starmer added that the scaled back rail plans shows that  “levelling up” is “just a slogan”. “If you can’t level up in Bradford then the whole levelling-up agenda is seen for what it really is, and that is just slogan,” he said.

The Transport Secretary told MPs earlier that the new GBP96bn Integrated Rail Plan for the North and the Midlands will instead deliver “faster” train journeys both earlier and cheaper than the original HS2 plans would have done, calling it “one of the biggest single acts of levelling up of any government in history”. However, the Prime Minister is also facing backlash from Red Wall Tory MPs, who agree that the North is being betrayed by the major revision to the Government’s original pledges. Follow the latest updates below.

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3:03PM[6]

Top 10 routes that lost out from revised HS2 plan

The route that lost out the most after the Government announced the revised Intergrated Rail Plan was the route from Birmingham to York, which will now be 53 minutes longer than it would have been under the original HS2 plans. 

Have a look at the graphic below for comparisons between how long any of the 10 routes currently are, how long they were going to be under the original plan and how long they will be under the revised plans.

Top 10 losers from the revised HS2 plan[7]2:52PM[8]

New rail plans are ‘blow for the region’, says All Party Parliamentary Group for Yorks & N. Lincs

In response to the publication of the Government’s Integrated Rail Plan, the Co-Chairs of the All Party Parliamentary Group for Yorkshire and Northern Lincolnshire said the plan “does not go far enough” for the region. Barry Sheerman MP and Kevin Hollinrake MP said: “Failing to commit to a completely new high-speed line right across the North ignores the urgent need to increase rail capacity on Transpennine routes, alongside improving travel times.

“The decision to cut Bradford out of the equation altogether when it comes to links to Manchester and no plans to improve lines out of Hull are a further blow for the region.”

A Great Northern train arriving at Bradford Interchange station todayCredit:Christopher Furlong/Getty Images2:46PM[9]

Albanian PM rules out taking Channel migrants from Britain

Albania’s prime minister has denied that his country will take Channel migrants, saying he will “never receive refugees for richer countries,” writes Charles Hymas. Edi Rama attempted to head off a backlash within the Balkan state by rejecting claims that it could host an offshore processing centre for Channel migrants who reach the UK in small boats[10]. Priti Patel, the Home Secretary, opened talks on the proposal when she signed an agreement in July for Albania to take back criminals deported from the UK.

Ministers see Australian-style offshore processing centres to which migrants would be flown within seven days of arriving in the UK as a key potential deterrent to stem the record surge[11] in Channel crossings. The Home Office is due to confirm on that more than 1,000 reached the UK [12]on Tuesday. However, Mr Rama told Albania’s Top Channel: “Albania will never be a country where very rich countries will set up camps for their refugees.

Never.” : Albanian PM rules out taking Channel migrants from Britain[13]

2:30PM[14]

Eastern leg of HS2 to Leeds scrapped, Grant Shapps confirms

Grant Shapps has confirmed that the Eastern leg of HS2 will be scrapped between the East Midlands and Leeds and the Northern Powerhouse Rail plans have been downgraded in a major revision to the Government’s original pledges. Mr Shapps told MPs that the new GBP96bn Integrated Rail Plan (IRP) for the North and the Midlands will instead deliver “faster” train journeys both earlier and cheaper than the original HS2 plans would have done, calling it “one of the biggest single acts of levelling up of any government in history”.

The Prime Minister is now facing backlash from Red Wall Tory MPs, who feel the North is being betrayed by the decision to scrap part of the HS2 extension. Conservative Huw Merriman, chairman of the Transport Select Committee, accused Boris Johnson of “selling perpetual sunlight” and delivering “moonlight” on rail projects for the North of England. Another Tory MP said he was “deeply disappointed” by the rail announcement as his constituency, Keighley in West Yorkshire, is one of the most “socially-deprived” parts of the UK.

Mr Shapps insisted that the IRP would slash journey times across the region with 110 miles of new high-speed line and Dominic Raab called the Government’s revised rail plan a “win-win”.

Boris Johnson during a visit to the Network Rail hub at Gascoigne Wood, West YorkshireCredit:Ian Forsyth/PA2:17PM[15]

HS2: Routes affected by Government’s rail announcement

The Government’s rail announcement is a significant shift away from previous plans and recommendations. In the Commons this morning, Mr Shapps confirmed that the Eastern leg of HS2 will no longer go all the way to Leeds and will instead stop in the East Midlands near Nottingham. The Transport Secretary said that the new GBP96bn rail plan will instead deliver three high-speed lines:

  1. HS2 Crewe to Manchester
  2. Birmingham to East Midlands Parkway
  3. Warrington to Manchester – but not the HS2 to Leeds or Northern Powerhouse Rail Leeds to Manchester.]

Look at the routes affected below:

HS2 routes of the eastern leg scrapped[16]1:55PM[17]

PM dismisses social care criticism from Sir Andrew Dilnot

Boris Johnson has dismissed criticism from Sir Andrew Dilnot, who recommended a social care cap, that his plans would disadvantage people in the North of England.

Asked during a visit to a Network Rail logistics hub near Selby, North Yorkshire, the Prime Minister told reporters: “No. This is a massive improvement for everybody in the whole country because what we’re saying is for the first time in history we’re stopping people having to pay unlimited quantities for their care. “We’re restricting the amount you can possibly pay to a fixed limit and the state comes in and helps you, the state comes in and helps you as soon as you have assets of GBP100,000 or less.

And that’s never been done before.” Speaking about the plans, Sir Andrew told the Treasury Committee on Thursday said: “On the whole, this will tend to hit less well-off people obviously harder. It will tend to hit people in regions of the country with lower house prices harder than it does those in regions with higher house prices, so there is a sort of north-south axis to this that people living in northern and other less high house price areas are likely to be hit harder by this on average.”

1:45PM[18]

Labour asks for Commons debate on ‘dangerous driving’ after PM’s ‘crashed car’ comment over sleaze

Labour asked for a Commons debate on “dangerous driving” in response to Boris Johnson admitting he “crashed the car into a ditch” in the row over standards at Westminster.

Shadow Commons leader Thangam Debbonaire accused the Government of “partisanship” in trying to resolve sleaze concerns, adding: “News outlets are reporting that (Mr Johnson) said he had ‘crashed the Government car into a ditch’ as a result of the advice that (Commons Leader Jacob Rees-Mogg) said he gave to the Prime Minister over the affair of the former MP for North Shropshire (Owen Paterson). “So, could we have a debate in Government time on dangerous driving and whether that should take place on the estate or not?” Mr Rees-Mogg criticised Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer for branding Mr Johnson a “coward” on Twitter, given he was forced to withdraw such a jibe in the Commons on Wednesday.

He said the tweet was “extraordinarily partisan” and “enormously disrespectful” to the Commons and Speaker Sir Lindsay Hoyle.

1:13PM[19]

Boris Johnson: ‘Women should have the confidence to come forward and make complaints’

Asked about the allegations that Stanley Johnson, the Prime Minister’s father, inappropriately touched two women, Boris Johnson said: “It’s absolutely right that everybody, women in particular, should be able to and have the confidence to come forward and make complaints. “There are proper procedures available to make their complaints and make known what has happened to them and for those to be properly investigated.” When pressed on whether he had spoken to his father, he said: “I’m obviously not going to comment on individual cases.”

MP Caroline Nokes accused the Prime Minister’s father of having “smacked” her “on the backside” in 2003, and journalist Ailbhe Rea claimed he had “groped” her in 2019.

Stanley Johnson, father of Prime Minister Boris Johnson is seen leaving a Cafe Concerto branch in London on November 181:06PM[20]

‘Extra high-speed lines take decades,’ Boris Johnson says in defence of scrapping part of the HS2 extension

Defending the Government’s move to scrap the Eastern leg of HS2, Boris Johnson said: “Extra high-speed lines take decades and they don’t deliver the commuter benefits that I’m talking about.” “We will eventually do them, we’re building more than 100 miles,” he added. After being accused of “derailing levelling up in the North and the Midlands, he replied: “That’s total rubbish”.

“What it does is it delivers the types of commuter services that people have been expecting and people have been entitled to in the Southeast of the country. “It will deliver better services for places that weren’t on the original plan…in virtually every case you’ll find that journey times are shorter and capacity is going up,” Mr Johnson said. He added that Leeds will see a “metro-style system”, upgrades to the station, better connectivity and shorter journey times to large city hubs. 

1:01PM[21]

Contactless ticketing to be rolled out in 700 stations, the Prime Minister confirms

The Prime Minister also said the Government is rolling out “contactless ticketing” for these areas, saying it will be “of the kind that we have in London”.

He said that 700 stations will be equipped with contactless facilities, adding: “There’s been nothing like it this century.” He added: “What we’re doing is levelling up across the country by giving people in the Midlands and in the North the kind of commuter-type services that people have been accustomed to in the Southeast.”

12:58PM[22]

Boris Johnson: ‘This is a great day for railway in this country’

“This is a fantastic and a monumental achievement and a great day for railway in this country and for connectivity in the Midlands and the North,” Boris Johnson has said. He said the Northern Powerhouse Rail will shortern journey times and that the cross-rail of the Midlands will cut journey times across the midlands to 26 minutes.

“We will look at what we can do going forward for Leeds but in the meantime what Leeds also gets is shorter journey times from London…and to Manchester…and a massive improvement of the big journeys. “But what this really delivers is commuter improvements for people who want the security, the confidence of knowing that they can commute in the great cities of the East Midlands, of the West Midlands and the Northeast and Northwest, and get around swiftly and efficiently,” he added.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson visits the Network Rail hub at Gascoigne WoodCredit:Ian Forsyth12:44PM[23]

Watch in full: Grant Shapps unveils long-awaited HS2 plans in the Commons

12:25PM[24]

PM under fire from his own MPs on rail anouncement

Boris Johnson visits the Network Rail hub in North Yorkshire todayCredit:Ian Forsyth/PA

Boris Johnson faced a backlash from his own MPs for “selling perpetual sunlight” and delivering “moonlight” on rail projects for the north of England. Conservative Huw Merriman, chairman of the Transport Select Committee, voiced his unease over the Prime Minister’s optimistic pledges failing to be matched by reality in policy announcements.

Transport Secretary Grant Shapps hailed the integrated rail plan as an overhaul of links across the North and the Midlands. But he was laughed at by Labour MPs when he said one of the new high-speed lines will run from “Warrington to Manchester and to the western border of Yorkshire”. MPs heard GBP23 billion will be invested in delivering Northern Powerhouse Rail and the TransPennine route upgrade, while the Government will “study how best to take HS2 trains into Leeds”.

But Mr Merriman told the Commons: “The Prime Minister promised that HS2 and Northern Powerhouse Rail was not an either/or option and those in Leeds and Bradford may be forgiven for viewing it today as neither. “This is the danger in selling perpetual sunlight and leaving the others to explain the arrival of moonlight.”

12:09PM[25]

HS2 is ‘white elephant’ now ‘missing a leg’, says former Conservative minister

A Conservative former minister has branded HS2 “a white elephant” which is now “missing a leg”. Gainsborough MP Sir Edward Leigh said: “HS2 was always a white elephant, but as far as the east coast is now concerned it is a white elephant missing a leg.

“We were promised it would relieve congestion on the east coast mainline because it was going to go to Leeds.” He also called for a through-train between Grimsby and London running through his constituency, adding: “Just saying we are working on it is not enough. We have had these promises again and again, am I going to be standing up here when I am 93 in 2043 still asking for my train?”

Transport Secretary Grant Shapps said his minister Chris Heaton-Harris was “working on” the Grimsby train, adding the current east coast mainline still had “quite a lot of capacity to be exploited” for more trains.

12:07PM[26]

West Yorkshire Tory MP ‘deeply disappointed’ by rail announcement

Conservative Robbie Moore said he was “deeply disappointed” by the rail announcement as his constituency, Keighley in West Yorkshire, is one of the most “socially-deprived” parts of the UK. He told MPs: “The Bradford district has been, in my view, completely short-changed. We are one of the most socially-deprived parts of the UK and we must get better transport connectivity, and I still want to see Northern Powerhouse Rail delivered with a main stop in Bradford, so that we can unlock our economic opportunities.

“Can he explain to the House what the Government is doing to deliver better, more reliable and cheap rail services for my constituency in Keighley?” Transport Secretary Grant Shapps replied: “Let me just make sure he understands and appreciates the full relevance of today. “Twelve-minute journey from Bradford to Leeds, that’s nearly half of the current journey time.

Thirty minutes off, at least, off the Bradford to London journey after these upgrades are complete.”

12:04PM[27]

Prime Minister is ‘driving a train into the ditch’, Labour MP says

Catherine McKinnell, Labour MP for Newcastle, told Grant Shapps: “It appears the Prime Minister is once again driving a train into the ditch off the track on his way to the North.” Mr Shapps responded that the journey time from London to Newcastle will be 21 minutes shorter, something he said her constituents would appreciate. Pictured below is Boris Johnson visiting the Network Rail hub at Gascoigne Wood as the Government announced the new plans.

Boris Johnson visits the Network Rail hub at Gascoigne Wood as the Government announced its Integrated Rail planCredit:Ian Forsyth/Getty Images 11:53AM[28]

New plans leave ‘huge big hole in the middle’ of the North of England

Labour former minister Hilary Benn asked the Government what is the point of leaving a “huge big hole in the middle” of the North of England.

He said: “What is the logic in taking HS2 from Birmingham to East Midlands Parkway, building a new highspeed line from Leeds to Sheffield, but leaving a huge great big hole in the middle that would have Victorian railway engineers in disbelief to save, the Times says, GBP10.3 billion? What is the purpose in doing that?” Transport Secretary Grant Shapps said one of the purposes of Northern Powerhouse Rail is to slash the journey times, for example from Leeds to Manchester.

He said: “We will deliver exactly that. We will provide a journey time of 33 minutes from Leeds to Manchester, a significant, a very significant, improvement.”

11:52AM[29]

‘Most bullish U-turn I’ve yet seen’, says SNP transport spokesman

A senior Tory MP has criticised Boris Johnson for “selling perpetual sunlight” and delivering “moonlight” on rail projects for the north of England. Huw Merriman, chairman of the Transport Select Committee, said: “The Prime Minister promised that HS2 and Northern Powerhouse rail was not an either/or option and those in Leeds and Bradford may be forgiven for viewing it today as neither.

“This is the danger in selling perpetual sunlight and leaving the others to explain the arrival of moonlight. “Because on a standalone basis, this plan compromises some fantastic projects that will slash journey times and better connect our great northern cities, and for that the transport team deserves much credit.” SNP transport spokesman Gavin Newlands said: “I do admire the Secretary of State’s chutzpah for the most bullish U-turn I’ve yet seen in this place.

“He talks about Beeching reversals but this is nothing but an HS2 reversal.”

11:45AM[30]

Labour contests GBP96 billion headline figure promised for northern rail projects

Labour’s frontbench also contested the GBP96 billion headline figure promised for northern rail projects in the Government’s integrated rail plan. Shadow transport secretary Jim McMahon said: “GBP96 billion, GBP40 billion of which has already been committed from London to Crewe, but is being labelled as investment across the North of England, and of the GBP56 billion that remains let us compare that to what the North of England would have got over the last decade had it had the same investment as London and the South-east: We are still GBP10 billion short.” He added: “We are not going to accept crumbs off the table.”

Transport Secretary Grant Shapps replied: “GBP96 billion expenditure. The single biggest ever investment. “We haven’t made any secret of the fact that some of that money is already the Birmingham to Crewe line, the Crewe to Manchester line, last time I checked that benefits the Midlands and the North, doesn’t it?”

11:43AM[31]

This is a ‘massive blow’ for our regions, Jim McMahon says

The shadow transport secretary continued: “(Boris Johnson) promised HS2 to Leeds, he promised Northern Powerhouse Rail, he promised that the North would not be forgotten.

“But he hasn’t just forgotten us, he’s completely sold us out.” He added: “Let’s be clear – the scaling back of Northern Powerhouse Rail coupled with the scrapping of the Eastern leg of HS2 is a massive blow for our regions”.

11:40AM[32]

Shadow transport secretary: This plan is a ‘great train robbery’

Labour’s shadow transport secretary described the integrated rail plan announcement as a “great train robbery”. Jim McMahon added that the Government had “betrayed” the North.

The Oldham West and Royton MP said Boris Johnson had broken a promise on HS2 made “60 times” in the past few years, adding: “Boris Johnson was elected to level the playing fields, to make things better for households across the country. “We were promised a Northern Powerhouse, we were promised a Midlands Engine, to be levelled up. But what we have been given today is a great train robbery.”

“Robbing 15 million people across the North of the investment they have been denied for 11 years under this rotten government,” he added.

11:37AM[33]

‘This plan will rebalance our economic geography’, insists Grant Shapps

Mr Shapps concluded: “By taking a fresh look at HS2 and how it fits with the rest of the rail system, we will be able to build a much-improved railway which provides similar or better services to almost every destination than the outdated vision drawn up for HS2 over a decade ago. “This plan will bring the North and the Midlands closer together, it will fire up economies to rival London and the South East, it will rebalance our economic geography, it will spread opportunity, it will level up the country and it will bring benefits at least a decade or more earlier.”

Transport Secretary Grant Shapps looks out of the train drivers window aboard the GWR Dartmoor LineCredit:Ben Birchall/PA11:32AM[34]

Transport Secretary: IRP delivers not just to large cities, but also ‘smaller places and towns’

Grant Shapps told the Commons that rail journeys between Birmingham and Nottingham will be cut from an hour and a quarter to 26 minutes. Journeys between York and Manchester will be cut down to 55 minutes down from 83 minutes.

He added that commuters will be able to get from Bradford to Leeds in “just 12 minutes”, which he said is almost half the time it takes today. Trips from Newcastle to Birmingham will also be cut in half, he said. The Integrated Rail Plan “delivers not just to our larger cities, but also for smaller places and towns,” he added.

“This plan will give passengers in the North and in the Midlands the service they need and they deserve.”

11:26AM[35]

IRP one of the ‘biggest single acts of levelling up’, Grant Shapps says

“I’ve heard some people say that we’re just going about electrifying the TransPennine route, this is wrong,” Mr Shapps says. “What we’re actually doing is investing GBP23 billion to deliver Northern Powerhouse Rail and the TransPennine route upgrade, unlocking east-west travel across the north of England. “In total this package is 110 miles of new high speed line, all of it in the Midlands and the North, it’s 180 miles of newly electrified line, all of it in the Midlands and the North,” he adds.

“We’re about to embark on one of the biggest single acts of levelling up of any government in history.”

11:19AM[36]

Grant Shapps: ‘Strengthening regional links most economically beneficial’

“Strengthening regional rail links would be most economically beneficial for the North and the Midlands…bringing hope to communities who for too long felt left behind,” Mr Shapps insists. He calls the IRP “ambitious” and “unparalleled”. The new blueprint delivers three high speed lines:

  1. Crewe to Manchester
  2. Birmingham to the East Midlands – with HS2 trains continuting to central Nottingham and central Derby, Chesterfield and Sheffield on an upgraded main line
  3. Warrington to Manchester on a new high speed line – which he says will “slash” journey times across the North 

11:14AM[37]

The original HS2 plans would not have reached East Midlands until ‘early 2040s’

Mr Shapps continues: “In the original scheme, the HS2 track would not have reached the East Midlands and the North until the early 2040s.

He adds: “Clearly a rethink was needed so the project would deliver for the regions that it served as soon as possible.” He says the Integrated Rail Plan was born out of a “desire to deliver sooner”. One of the key criticisms he says was that the original plans for HS2 did not serve any of the three major East Midlands cities.

11:10AM[38]

Grant Shapps: The GBP96bn programme will ‘transform’ rail services in North and Midlands

The Transport Secretary begins his statement by stating the GBP96 bn programme will “transform” rail services in the North and the Midlands.

“This unprecedented commitment to build a world-class railway that delivers for passengers and freight, for towns and cities, for communities and businesses, will benefit eight out of 10 of those businest rail corridors across the North and the Midlands,” he says. Mr Shapps adds that the faster journey times will be availabe a decade sooner than previously planned.

11:07AM[39]

Pictured: Labour leader travelling to Leeds and Bradford

Labour leader Sir Keir Starmer and shadow chancellor, Rachel Reeves, travel by train to Leeds and Bradford where they will discuss the government’s announcement of the future of the integrated Rail Plan.

Credit:Stefan Rousseau Credit:Stefan Rousseau10:47AM[40]

Tory anger as Boris Johnson admits he was wrong in sleaze row

Boris Johnson is facing warnings from his own MPs that he urgently needs to rebuild public trust after admitting he “crashed the car into a ditch” in the row over standards at Westminster. Deputy Prime Minister Dominic Raab insisted ministers are committed to “fixing the problem” amid continuing frustration and anger among Tory MPs at the damage that has been inflicted over the past weeks.

At a private meeting of the Conservative backbench 1922 Committee on Wednesday, Mr Johnson took responsibility for the Government’s botched attempt to get Owen Paterson off the hook after he was found to have broken the rules on paid lobbying. “On a clear day I crashed the car into a ditch. I will get the car out of the ditch,” he reportedly told the gathering.

Mr Raab acknowledged the Government has a job of work to do to restore morale within the Conservative ranks after seeing the party engulfed by allegations of Tory “sleaze”. Asked on Sky News about discontent within the party, he said there is always “one or other disgruntled individual” who is prepared to complain anonymously in the media. Pressed on whether that means there is no general unrest, Mr Raab added: “Not sure I’d put it in that idyllic way.

There’s always debate amongst MPs, but the most important thing is we’re fixing the problem.”

Politics latest news: PM 'betrayed the North' by scrapping HS2 Leeds link, says Keir Starmer10:33AM[41]

‘Bradford being excluded’ by scaling back of HS2 extension plans, says Lord O’Neill

Lord O’Neill, former Conservative minister and vice chair of the Northern Powerhouse Partnership, told Times Radio that “Bradford is being excluded” after it was revealed it was expected the HS2 extension plans to Yorkshire would be scaled back. It is expected the HS2 extension will not serve Leeds and Sheffield. Lord O’Neill said: “It seems like a strange political and economic risk-reward calculation here because from what the team at the Powerhouse Partnership have figured out, all of this on that part of it would only save less than GBP4 billion out of what was previously GBP39 billion.

“So, 10 per cent saving to disappoint millions of people around the North and, crucially, people in Red Wall seats and their MPs.”

10:21AM[42]

HS2 plans face backlash from Red Wall Tory MPs as Boris Johnson promises faster journeys

The Government’s HS2 plans are facing backlash from Red Wall Tory MPs as Boris Johnson has promised faster journeys. In an announcement to the Commons at 10:30am, the Transport Secretary Grant Shapps will reveal the Government’s updated rail plans, expected to include the scrapping of HS2 between the East Midlands and Leeds. Writing in the Yorkshire Post, the Prime Minister promised “faster journeys, to more places, more quickly” for Yorkshire.

However, the Integrated Rail Plan (IRP), which will be published while Mr Shapps is speaking to MPs, is expected to show major revisions to previously announced goals. Jon Collins, former HS2 East Midlands Chair, told Sky News: “Same old story for the Midlands…that’s going to cause very significant economic harm to this part of the country”. He urged the PM to U-turn on the decision, saying this is about “shaping the whole future of the economy of our country” and adding that it would be a “one-time major strategic mistake” to not go through with the original plans.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson arrives at Kings Cross to catch a train to the North of England to talk about the Integrated Rail PlanCredit:Andrew Parsons/No10 Downing St10:07AM[43]

Government not acting quickly enough on sleaze row, Labour says

The Government is not acting quickly enough to deal with the standards row which has engulfed Parliament, shadow chancellor Rachel Reeves has said.

She told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme: “The problem with the amendment from the Government which was passed yesterday is that there is no timetable. “It wasn’t a binding vote and, as a result, I just fear it is going to be kicked further into the long grass rather than the fundamental reform that people want and need to see now to restore confidence in our parliamentary democracy.” Last night, MPs voted 297 to nil to back Downing Street’s plans to restrict outside work to “reasonable limits” and prohibit parliamentary advice or consultancy.

Ms Reeves said: “I think that public service and being an MP is something that I am proud of and I think most MPs are, but at the moment you don’t feel that proud. People look at MPs and just think it is just mired in sleaze. “I think we need to sort this out quickly to restore the reputation of parliament.

“It seems that Government just don’t have that sense of urgency about restoring people’s faith and trust in our parliamentary democracy.”

Boris Johnson speaking during PMQs in the House of Commons yesterdayCredit:JESSICA TAYLOR/AFP9:51AM[44]

Government’s rail plans are ‘win-win’, Dominic Raab insists

Justice Secretary Dominic Raab has insisted the Government’s rail plans, which are expected to include the scrapping of HS2 between the East Midlands and Leeds, are “win-win”. He declined to confirm the specifics but told BBC Breakfast: “The detail will be set out today but I think this is win-win. “It’s never been done before, GBP96 billion, there’s never been an infrastructure project or series of projects on this scale.

“We’re delivering action to go with the words and the aspirations around us.”

9:33AM[45]

Cancelling of HS2 and northern and Midland rail projects is ‘massive betrayal’ for the North

Residents in Bradford, West Yorkshire, were supposed to see a brand new station as part of the new line from Liverpool to Leeds, but they will now for the most part have to rely on upgrades to the existing line instead.  Councillor Susan Hinchcliffe, leader of Bradford Council, told Sky News that the original plans would have added GBP30 billion to the economy and would have added 27,000 jobs. However, the Prime Minister has insisted that the new plans still serve his levelling up plans.

Ms Hinchcliffe said: “I cannot believe they would leave Bradford out of Northern Powerhouse Rail and actually perhaps not do Northern Powerhouse Rail at all. “This is a massive betrayal of Bradford, of the region of Yorkshire and the North of England – they really need to rethink this.” She added: “We know what route we want, we’ve decided on that, why in Westminster do they think all of a sudden they can come up with their own plan without any consultation with northern leaders.

“It’s absolutely outrageous if you think about it. If they actually came here more often perhaps they would see what people have to struggle with day-to-day.  “People in the North are actually just resigned to poor services.”

9:15AM[46]

Changes to HS2 in Yorkshire ‘driven by cost’, says Lord O’Neill

Lord O’Neill told Times Radio he thought the Government’s motivation behind making changes to the extension of HS2 into Yorkshire is “driven by cost”.

He added that the decision is “clearly sad” for Bradford, and added: “The Prime Minister’s making a big thing about how they’re going to do something on the Bradford to Leeds line to cut it to 12 minutes, but you know I sometimes call the Northern Powerhouse concept rather inelegantly ManchesterLeedspool, because at the end of the day, the distance of Manchester to any of these places is less than the length of the central Tube line.” Lord O’Neill said the North is being left out and “it doesn’t make a huge amount of sense”.

An aerial view of the entrance to the Chiltern Tunnels at the south portal HS2 align compound, in Rickmansworth, HertfordshireCredit:Steve Parsons/PA8:54AM[47]

North being betrayed by decision to scrap part of HS2 extension, says Labour

Shadow secretary of state for transport Jim McMahon has told Times Radio the North is being betrayed by the decision to scrap part of the HS2 extension. He said: “We are not going to see the level of investment our region needs to thrive in the future and more than that, the Government just being honest about what that code means or trying to present it almost in a way that people should be grateful, that at least we’re getting crumbs off the table, and that’s just not good enough.

“We want to hold the Government to account for the promises that they made because it goes beyond actually just transport investment. It goes to the heart of politics.”

8:32AM[48]

Chancellor should have ‘had the guts’ to announce changes to HS2 in recent Budget

The Chancellor should have “had the guts” to announce that HS2 was not going to go ahead in the recent Budget, according to Rachel Reeves, who accused the Government of having “entirely the wrong priorities”. Ms Reeves, the shadow chancellor and MP for Leeds West, told BBC Radio 4’s Today programme: “We had the budget just a couple of weeks ago and the Chancellor found money to scrap air passenger duty on short-haul flights.

“Two weeks later the Prime Minister says that they are going to scrap HS2 going to Sheffield and Leeds. “If you can find money to cut the air passenger duty for domestic flights but you can’t invest in our rail transport infrastructure, I just think that is entirely the wrong priorities. “The Chancellor should have had the guts to stand up in parliament at the Budget and announce then that this crucial transport infrastructure that will deliver the growth and jobs that we need in the north of England wasn’t going to go ahead and yet those carbon-emitting flights will be increasing.”

Chancellor of the Exchequer Rishi Sunak holds his ministerial ‘Red Box’ outside 11 Downing Street, London, before delivering his Budget to the House of Commons on October 27, 2021Credit:Victoria Jones/PA8:04AM[49]

Boris Johnson admits he ‘crashed the car’ in handling of Owen Paterson case

Boris Johnson admitted on Wednesday that he had “crashed the car” in his handling of the Owen Paterson case, saying for the first time that the former Tory MP had broken lobbying rules.

The Prime Minister also conceded that he had made a “mistake” and felt “regret” over ordering MPs to vote to delay a decision on whether Mr Paterson should be suspended from Parliament. “On a clear road I crashed the car into a ditch,” he told Tory backbenchers at a meeting of the 1922 committee after two weeks of damaging “sleaze” headlines. The comments were an attempt to draw a line under a fortnight of political damage since the vote on Mr Paterson’s case.

It has resulted in the Tories slumping behind Labour in multiple opinion polls and growing disquiet in the party over plans to limit MPs’ second jobs. :  I crashed the car over Owen Paterson case, admits Boris Johnson[50]

Owen Paterson, who resigned as MP for North Shropshire following backlash over sleaze rowCredit:Rob Stothard/Getty Images7:42AM[51]

Scrapping of HS2 Eastern leg plans to cause ‘very significant economic harm’

Jon Collins, former HS2 East Midlands Chair, told Sky News: “Same old story for the Midlands…that’s going to cause very significant economic harm to this part of the country”. He continued: “I’m not that surprised (at the decision)…The real damage that will be done to the East Midlands the Eastern side of England is that what you’re going to see is the investment and the opportunity that would have gone to Nottingham, to Sheffield, to Leeds, to the communities in between, effectively being sucked to the Western side of the country…and also being sucked back to London.

That was the problem that HS2 was set to tackle.” He urged the PM to U-turn on the decision, saying this is about “shaping the whole future of the economy of our country” and adding that it would be a “one-time major strategic mistake” to not go through with the Eastern leg of HS2. He also added that the PM had U-turned on much less significant matters.

Grant Shapps will announce the package to the Commons at around 10.30am, with the Integrated Rail Plan published online simultaneously. 

6:58AM[52]

Good morning

Two things on the agenda today are fallout from Boris Johnson’s admission in a meeting of the 1922 Committee that he “crashed the car” in his handling of the row over former MP Owen Paterson and the Government’s Integrated Rail Plan (IRP) due today in which the Eastern leg of HS2 is set to be scrapped. The Department for Transport will publish its IRP featuring GBP96 billion of investment in the Midlands and the North, in which a high-speed line running from the East Midlands to Leeds is set to be scrapped in favour of updates to the existing track. This is a major revision to previously announced goals.

The Government will also now be hoping it can turn the page on a fortnight-long sleaze row over second jobs, as MPs voted 297 to nil last night to back Downing Street plans to restrict outside work to “reasonable limits” and prohibit parliamentary advice or consultancy.

References

  1. ^ I crashed the car over Paterson case, admits PM (www.telegraph.co.uk)
  2. ^ Camilla Tominey: Johnson is trying to clear out old guard of MPs (www.telegraph.co.uk)
  3. ^ Albanian PM rules out taking Channel migrants from Britain (www.telegraph.co.uk)
  4. ^ EU backs down on threats to retaliate over Article 16 (www.telegraph.co.uk)
  5. ^ Nadine Dorries accused of trying to ‘police’ Laura Kuenssberg’s tweet (www.telegraph.co.uk)
  6. ^ 3:03PM (www.telegraph.co.uk)
  7. ^ Top 10 losers from the revised HS2 plan (cf-particle-html.eip.telegraph.co.uk)
  8. ^ 2:52PM (www.telegraph.co.uk)
  9. ^ 2:46PM (www.telegraph.co.uk)
  10. ^ reach the UK in small boats (www.telegraph.co.uk)
  11. ^ record surge (www.telegraph.co.uk)
  12. ^ more than 1,000 reached the UK  (www.telegraph.co.uk)
  13. ^ Albanian PM rules out taking Channel migrants from Britain (www.telegraph.co.uk)
  14. ^ 2:30PM (www.telegraph.co.uk)
  15. ^ 2:17PM (www.telegraph.co.uk)
  16. ^ HS2 routes of the eastern leg scrapped (cf-particle-html.eip.telegraph.co.uk)
  17. ^ 1:55PM (www.telegraph.co.uk)
  18. ^ 1:45PM (www.telegraph.co.uk)
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  50. ^ I crashed the car over Owen Paterson case, admits Boris Johnson (www.telegraph.co.uk)
  51. ^ 7:42AM (www.telegraph.co.uk)
  52. ^ 6:58AM (www.telegraph.co.uk)




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