The “remaining determination” to axe HS2’s northern leg was taken throughout Tory convention, Downing Avenue has insisted, regardless of a video showing to indicate Rishi Sunak define the transfer days earlier.
No 10 defended the Prime Minister over the recording, which prompted questions on his repeated refusal to verify the destiny of the railway line within the run-up to his keynote speech in Manchester.
Within the clip, which was posted by Mr Sunak on X and seems to have been filmed in Downing Avenue earlier than he left for convention, he says: “I’m stopping all phases of HS2 past Birmingham.”
Mr Sunak’s official spokesman prompt the video was “preparatory work” accomplished forward of the main coverage change being agreed on by Cupboard shortly earlier than it was introduced.
The official mentioned on Monday: “As is a longstanding a part of the method for saying main coverage selections, it’s proper that preparatory work takes place.
“That is likely to be the preparation of paperwork, command paper paperwork, or communications merchandise, to elucidate the choice to the general public, clearly all of that’s accomplished on the understanding it’s accomplished upfront of a remaining determination being taken.”
He insisted that the “remaining determination was taken at Cupboard, by Cupboard” on the morning of Mr Sunak’s speech.
There had been hypothesis all through September that the change was coming, however ministers refused to verify it till Mr Sunak made the announcement at convention, whereas Parliament was in recess.
“The Home is being up to date on the earliest alternative. You’ll know that coverage bulletins are often made at get together conferences. I don’t assume that is any totally different,” the Prime Minister’s spokesman mentioned.
The Prime Minister defied senior Tories and enterprise leaders to scrap HS2 from Birmingham to Manchester, saying “the info have modified” and the price of the high-speed rail scheme had “greater than doubled”.
He as an alternative pledged to reinvest the £36 billion the Authorities expects to avoid wasting by axing the Manchester line into different new transport tasks “within the North and the Midlands, throughout the nation”.