Esther McVey MP calls for HS2 revote if allegations true

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TATTON MP Esther McVey has called for another vote on HS2 if misinformation allegations from whistle-blowers are true.

McVey said the London to Birmingham section of the line was agreed by MPs based on the predicated costs of £23.5bn.

She relayed Lord Tony Berkeley point from last week that he had received information from senior managers in HS2 – whistle-blowers and these costs were in fact £48bn.

“They had produced a detailed estimate of this project from the beginning which was news to the senior manager because they had always denied that,” she said.

“But they have an estimate and the problem is that it came out at £48bn at a time when ministers were telling the House of Parliament and your Lordship’s House that the cost was £23.5bn. It was on the basis of the £23.5bn cost that it was voted through the house.

“It that was the case, isn’t it right if we were given misinformation that the vote needs to be heard again and had again.

“It was £37.5bn it’s now £150bn and I want to ask the minster about the idea that a scheme might be viable at £37.5bn, maybe even £50bn but when does it become unviable, or is this government saying that they are going to pay for it whatever the cost.”

Nearly 2,000 people in Tatton signed the petition and McVey is firmly on their side.

She continued: “I stand fairly and squarely with them and the other thousands and thousands of people to say ‘stop HS2’ and that vote needs to be heard again and had again the House of Commons.”

McVey paid tribute to a few groups and people from Tatton who have worked “tirelessly unearthing the failings of HS2”.

She gave thanks to Ashley Parish Council, Lach Dennis and Lostock Green Parish Council, Mid Cheshire against HS2, Kathy O’Donoghue and Ros Todhunter for her technical expertise.

“Many colleagues have talked about the failings and there isn’t just one failing, there are many. In fact, the more you look into this project, the worse it gets,” she added.

“From its ballooning costs to the destruction of land and countryside to it being an out of date project, we need high-speed broadband, high gigabit capability which will connect with everyone, everywhere, not HS2.”

McVey added: “The final questions are what is the cost to cancel this scheme and on what is that estimate made? On what measurement does HS2 level up the north? And can we look at that serious allegation in the House of Lords and if it’s true, have another vote.”