Latest News

BOB LEAVES GOVERNMENT ROLE OVER HS2


Isle of Wight MP Bob Seely has resigned from his role as a Parliamentary Private Secretary (PPS) for the Department for Environment, Food & Rural Affairs (DEFRA) after refusing to back the Government’s controversial High Speed Rail (HS2) project in a Commons vote.

Bob said he could not support HS2 – the planned high-speed rail link between London, Birmingham, Manchester and Leeds – when there was a greater need for transport infrastructure investment in other areas of the UK, such as the Island.

Speaking about the decision, Bob has today (Wednesday) said:

Article continues below this advertisement

“I knew that abstaining from the vote would mean I could not continue as a PPS but on the issue of HS2 I did not feel that I could in good faith vote to support it while having consistently spoken out about the spiralling costs of the project, whilst in the UK regions and in constituencies such as the Isle of Wight we have suffered from historic under-investment on infrastructure.

“I, like my predecessors, have continuously lobbied government on the significant challenges we face from being an Island. But for decades we have been overlooked – our ferry system was privatised without any public service obligations whilst the Island Line railway rolling stock dates from the 1930s”.

He has gone on to say:

“Government is beginning to listen. We have had some successes, such as the Ministry of Housing, Communities and Local Government finally recognising that in practical terms the Island is an Island and taking that into account in their funding formulas. The Department of Health has committed to looking into Island Funding and only last month both leadership contenders spoke favourably of an Island Deal. I am still pushing the Government to commit to investing in Island Line.

“The campaign for fair funding for the Island will be fact-based and scrutinised carefully by the government. That is the standard that we expect, but I don’t feel that this standard is being applied to HS2, a project that has seen its cost spiral out of control and which is likely to reach a staggering £400 million per mile of track.

Article continues below this advertisement

“I have enjoyed my time as a PPS but my main focus has been – and will continue to be – on Island issues and representing the Island as the Island’s MP for as long as Islanders want me to do so.

“We are entering a new phase of Government with the imminent election of a new Party Leader and Prime Minister and I look forward to the opportunities that brings, especially in pushing hard for our Island agenda.”

The views/opinions expressed in these comments are solely those of the author and do not represent those of Island Echo. House rules on commenting must be followed at all times.

11
Comment on this story

avatar
newest oldest most voted
Liz
Guest
Liz

Thanks for the work you are doing for the Island Bob, and for showing everyone you are a man of principles, a rare politician these days.

James
Guest
James

More likely, jumped before the incoming p.m. pushes hum out in the inevitable cabinet reshuffle.

The disenfranchised
Guest
The disenfranchised

No…. he hasn’t realised yet, this is the Isle of Wight, he doesn’t have to work at it. A dog poo could have a blue rosette and islanders would vote for it! He merely tells you what you want to hear.

The disenfranchised
Guest
The disenfranchised

Sorry Liz, I’ve just realised you may be St Bob’s mum or partner, but don’t worry the island echo is doing a good job as his PR, bless xxx

Martin
Guest
Martin

Scrap HS2 altogether. Who needs to get to the midlands 10 minutes quicker ?. How many hospitals could benefit from the estimated £65 Billion that is going to be wasted… Granted, some of it might come from private funding.The longer it goes on… the more costs will rise.

John Burns
Guest
John Burns

Good to see all the usual anti-HS2 lies are still being spun. Luckily no-one (that matters) believes them and instead they listen to the truth and the data. It’s not about getting to Birmingham 10 minutes quicker (actually, it’s about 25 mins quicker, but why muddy the debate with facts.) It’s about relieving capacity on an already overcrowded West Coast Main Line and a soon to be overcrowded East Coast Main Line. Try telling passengers sitting on the floor of current services it isn’t needed. And if we are going to build a new railway, we might as well build it to modern standards and get some journey time benefits too: You wouldn’t build a new road and insist that it was only used by people with ox carts.

none given
Guest
none given

cannot have it all ways.

people want carbon emissions reduced, so more train journeys and less car journeys taken. = more capacity on the rail network required. Those same people don’t want new tracks and services added, as they want the money spent elsewhere.

electric cars don’t charge fast enough and how much pollution is created making any car in the first place.

the uk infrastructure is like the current trains – overcrowded, underfunded and struggling to keep up.

If we weren’t increasing the uk population continually, then there wouldn’t be the need for these expansions to trains, roads, water and sewage service, more housing, doctors, hospitals and the endless bureaucracy increases.

The disenfranchised
Guest
The disenfranchised

It’s not a question of who needs it….it’s money for the old boys network.

JHVF
Guest
JHVF

Well done, surely it will eventually be dropped.

Pitt
Guest
Pitt

I’m afraid not: The Phase 2A bill sailed though it’s latest House of Commons vote 263 for 17 against.

Foggy
Guest
Foggy

It wouldn’t be needed if a Tory Baron called Beeching hadn’t tore up thousands of miles of rail network in the 60’s in the name of austerity, dumb ass Tory again. Unbelievable. Tory boys playing politics snit scared of the collapse of capitalism.

Football Betting Site Betway
  data-matched-content-ui-type="image_card_stacked"

News, Traffic & Travel Tweets