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Johnson Must Fully Back HS2 - TSSA

12 November 2019

TSSA General Secretary, Manuel Cortes, has called on Boris Johnson to make clear his Party's commitment to High Speed 2 (HS2) after a Review of the scheme concluded any future UK Government should back the entire rail project.

A leaked copy of Douglas Oakervee’s Review, seen by The Times newspaper, recommends ministers commit to the full proposed network connecting London, Birmingham, Manchester and Leeds.

Cortes said: “Our concern from the start was that this Review was nothing more than a cosmetic exercise to appease Conservative backbenchers in the shires. Our Labour Party is committed to HS2, Boris Johnson now needs to come clean and tell us whether the Tories fully back it too.

“The Review has been a waste of time and money, leading to needless uncertainty for our members. Now we have the spectacle of a leak during Purdah which means no proper scrutiny can take place.

“There needs to be an inquiry into the leak, but most important of all we must stop the dithering and delay – and get on with building HS2, not only to the North but all the way to Scotland.

“This is our country’s biggest infrastructure project and vital to our future wellbeing. It’s not just about rail travel but jobs in the supply chain and the economic regeneration the project brings to many areas outside London.

“No serious party leader can remain silent on HS2. When it comes to clean and green high-speed rail Britain is decades behind and it’s already taken too long to get out of the slow lane."

The Oakervee Review was originally scheduled to be published this autumn but the Government chose to delay publication until after the election.

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