freeline-23 - Page 2

Rob’s Ramblings
HS2 LATEST – Bob Seely MP resigns
from Government role over HS2
Rob Maylin
Bountyhunter Publications
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Rob Maylin
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Big Carp Issue 277.
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Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs Parliamentary Private Secretary Bob Seely has resigned from government over its support for the highspeed rail project, HS2, Yahoo Finance UK can reveal. Seely, who was appointed
to the role in Defra in March, abstained on a vote regarding the project on Monday night and announced via press release he was leaving his role as a government aide when approached for comment by Yahoo Finance UK.
Sources close to Seely said he felt the project had grown too expensive, and
therefore abstained on the bill. In his resignation letter, Seely said, “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. 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. 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
It is unclear whether Seely resigned immediately after voting against the Government on Wednesday, as a spokesperson for Seely did not confirm he had left
his role during a comment call from Yahoo Finance UK that morning. The proposed rail link between London and the north has been mired in controversy.
Conservative party leadership frontrunner Boris Johnson recently hinted that he
would call for a review into the controversial £56bn ($68.4bn) project, according
to the Financial Times.
A billboard which says, ‘Time to Stop HS2’ stands in a field near to the proposed
HS2 route on February 21, 2017 in Denham.


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