Rishi Sunak hits back at BBC host over HS2
Rishi Sunak has hit back in the row over HS2 as he faces major pressure over the future of the rail line.
The Prime Minister rejected a suggestion that the storm over the project was dominating the Tory conference in Manchester.
In his keynote speech tomorrow, Mr Sunak is expected to confirm the scrapping of the HS2 leg to Manchester as he possibly softens the blow by spending on other projects for the North.
Presenter Jon Kay said: “When you took over last year you told us the end of chaos, you were going to be in control, it was all going to be calm and managed properly.
“But a lot of your MPs feel you have lost control over HS2, that you might want to talk about crime and justice today, but all anybody at the conference is talking about is the fact you haven’t announced a decision on HS2 and they would say that this is a distraction, even a mess, of your own making.”
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The PM replied: “Well I can tell you because I’m at the conference talking to all my MPs and everyone else that’s not what they’re talking about.
“What they’re talking about is our approach to net zero which is saving their constituents £5,000, £10,000 or £15,000.
“An example of me taking a long-term decision for the country even when it’s not easy, even when I’m getting criticism, because I believe it’s the right thing to do for families.
“They’re talking about our backing of 55 towns across the country with long-term funding to help them change the destination of what’s happening around them.
“They’re talking about what we’re doing today on Jade’s Law. These are all the things people are talking about.
“And you talk about bringing calm. You’re right, when I got this job it wasn’t easy, but I’m really pleased since then we’ve made progress.
“Inflation now coming down properly easing the burden on the cost of living which is still the most important thing families face.”
He also rejected a suggestion by host Sally Nugent that the storm has overshadowed the four-day Tory gathering.
that the row over HS2 had overshadowed the Conservative Party conference and that the handling of the announcement had been poor.
He told BBC Breakfast: “I don’t think that. Actually we’re having a great conference.”
Pressed again, he said: “The mood here is great.”
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