Cameron says HS2 could be scrapped if Labour withdraws support

David Cameron (Photo: Peter Byrne/PA Wire)

David Cameron (Photo: Peter Byrne/PA Wire)

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HS2 could be scrapped if Labour withdraws support for the controversial £43 billion project, the Prime Minister has warned.

In an article in The Times over the weekend, David Cameron said: “These multi-year, multi-parliament infrastructure projects, they can’t go ahead without all-party support.

HS2

HS2

“You won’t get the investment, you can’t have the consistency.”

His comments come ahead of the publishing of a Government-commissioned report which is expected to say that scrapping HS2 and funding alternatives would lead to 14 years of weekend route closures and longer journeys.

The budget for the line went up by £10 billion over the summer.

Labour has said there will be ‘no blank cheque’ for HS2 and Mr Cameron admitted it would be ‘irresponsible’ to go ahead with the project if costs continue to spiral.

The Prime Minister said: “I believe [HS2] does have all-party support.

“I think if Labour are to run away from this, they will be letting down the Midlands, they will be letting down the north, they will be kicking sand in the face of council leaders right across the country who want this to go ahead.

“They will be turning their backs on businesses that have been telling us how important it is that infrastructure projects like this go ahead.”

Following the comments and Labour’s change of tone in recent weeks, anti-HS2 campaigners have said there is ‘a clear shifting of the political atmosphere around HS2’.

Stop HS2 campaign manager Joe Rukin said: “It seems to us that David Cameron has finally realised what a daft idea HS2 is and is trying to political games so he can drop HS2 and claim it was all Labour’s fault.

“Instead of engaging in Punch and Judy politics, he should have the courage to admit he was wrong and drop HS2 before more taxpayers money is wasted on his vanity project.”

On Tuesday Network Rail will publish a report that is expected to say alternatives to HS2 would cause severe disruption and increased journey times.

The report will be used to back up a Government presentation on the business case for HS2.

MPs will have another chance to vote on the HS2 Paving Bill in Parliament on Thursday, with reports suggesting many Conservatives will refuse to back the project.