Daily Archives: January 29, 2013

Jim Pickard

Yes, you read that headline right.

For all the understandable interest in Tory opposition – including Tatton councillors in Saturday’s FT – the overwhelming impression from the green benches yesterday was one of support for the controversial high-speed rail line. Here is the official account in Hansard.

It’s less interesting for journalists like myself, who thrive on controversy. The idea of a wave of Tory MPs kicking the project – when it also faces mass legal actions – is an enticing one.

But an honest appraisal of Monday’s debate would support the suggestion by Patrick McLoughlin, transport secretary, of a cross-party consensus.

So on the “no” ranks were Cheryl Gillan, Andrew Bridgen (whose house is 100 ft from the route), Michael Fabricant (“it blights the environment, homes and lives”) and Andrea Leadsom.

None of these were a surprise. (Interestingly, none of the anti’s were returning Read more