Daily Archives: April 23, 2013

Jim Pickard

Ukip is winning thousands of votes from the Tories because of the coalition’s controversial plan for a new high-speed rail route: so says Nigel Farage, the leader of the anti-Brussels party.

In a recent debate with Tory former cabinet minister Cheryl Gillan – who has fought HS2, which cuts through her constituency – Farage said: “We’re against HS2, which your party’s not, and that’s why we’re getting so many votes in your constituency.”

But this belies the fact that the Ukip manifesto for 2010 called not only for more high-speed rail but no fewer than “three new 200mph-plus high-seed rail lines”.

Where would they be? “This would include a new line between London and Newcastle with a spur to Manchester, a London-Bristol-Exeter line and a linking route via Birmingham”.

In addition, a Ukip government would produce a Hong Kong-style Thames Estuary airport with another “high-speed rail service to London, the UK and the Continent”.

But by 2012 the party appeared to have a change of heart. Its local government manifesto Read more