24th August 2013: We originally published this post by Andrew Bridgen on 8th July. We're republishing it today in light of reports – including in the Times (£) – that "Labour’s leadership has put the coalition on notice that it will withdraw support for the controversial High Speed 2 rail line if costs continue to spiral."
Andrew Bridgen is Member of Parliament for North West Leicestershire. Follow Andrew on Twitter.
To many fellow Conservatives who have taken the view that HS2 is a White Elephant, we find ourselves in a strange position today by being in agreement with an article written by Lord Mandelson in which he states HS2 could be an "expensive mistake” and damage the north of England's economy.
This intervention should act as a warning shot to the Conservatives that it is not beyond the realms of possibility that Labour could abandon the cross party consensus - and leave us high and dry supporting a project with spiralling costs which ploughs through dozens of Conservative constituencies.
During the High Speed Rail (Preparation) Bill debate I asked the Shadow Secretary of State for Transport to ‘reassure the House that Her Majesty’s Opposition’s support for HS2 will continue up to and beyond the next general election? The support being given to the Government in this case is, I believe, rather like the support given by the rope to the hanged man.
The response I received was ‘The honourable Gentleman is speaking in hope rather than expectation. I know his own personal concern about the scheme and I understand his point, but I can be clear with the House that Labour supports getting on with building this north-south line."