Publication of HS2 report vetoed by Transport Secretary

Publication of HS2 report vetoed by Transport Secretary

Publication of HS2 report vetoed by Transport Secretary

First published in News Bucks Free Press: Photograph of the Author by , Reporter

THE Transport Secretary has angered campaigners after using a power of veto to prevent a report on HS2 being made public.

Patrick McLoughlin announced today the Project Assessment Review of the controversial scheme will not be released - saying the public interest 'favours nondisclosure'.

The review, made by the Major Projects Authority, gave HS2 an amber-red rating - meaning there were "major risks or issues apparent in a number of key areas".

But despite calls for it to be made available publicly, Mr McLoughlin used a rarely-used power of veto to block its circulation.

The move has angered campaigners, who have now warned the Transport Secretary's decision could now be the subject of a Judicial Review at the High Court.

Stop HS2 Campaign Manager Joe Rukin said: "It is absolutely disgraceful that the government doesn’t want MPs, who should be fully informed before voting on the colossal expenditure HS2 entails, to actually have all the information about the project.

"This just proves that there has been, and continues to be, an agenda from government to deceive MPs and the public with spin and dismiss any independent information showing just how bad the HS2 project is. It also shows that this government's supposed ‘transparency agenda’ is as transparent as a lump of coal. What is the point in having reports on projects if they cannot be used to inform the debate around them?"

Chesham and Amersham MP Cheryl Gillan said: "I am disappointed that the Secretary of State has used executive veto powers to block publication of the Project Assessment Review on HS2.

"This decision can only lead to the speculation and conclusion that the report is unfavourable towards HS2.

"I will be examining whether there is any way to get this decision reversed."

Mr McLoughlin said: "My decision to exercise this power of veto in this case was not taken lightly. I have taken into account the views of Cabinet, Ministers and the Information Commissioner, in considering both the balance of the public interest in disclosure and nondisclosure and whether this is an exceptional case. My view is that the public interest favours nondisclosure. I have also concluded that this constitutes an exceptional case and that the exercise of this power of veto is warranted.

"In summary, the Major Projects Review was conducted to inform the development of the HS2 project. The public interest in ensuring that projects of this scale, importance and cost are properly controlled and overseen is very high indeed. The assurance of confidentiality is important in the conduct of the review. In my view, there is nothing in the nature or content of this particular report which outweighs that strong public interest against disclosure."

Comments (11)

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4:37pm Thu 30 Jan 14

thethe says...

perhaps because it shows that there is no business case for this unaffordable white elephant. I hope that decision can be overturned in the courts
perhaps because it shows that there is no business case for this unaffordable white elephant. I hope that decision can be overturned in the courts thethe
  • Score: 12

4:50pm Thu 30 Jan 14

dbanes says...

I'm generally against trashing the country side for road or rail projects, but given we need the capacity (have you ever tried to go London to Midlands at peak times?) I think rail is the better option.
I'm generally against trashing the country side for road or rail projects, but given we need the capacity (have you ever tried to go London to Midlands at peak times?) I think rail is the better option. dbanes
  • Score: -10

5:02pm Thu 30 Jan 14

motco says...

Draw your own conclusions as to the findings then...
Draw your own conclusions as to the findings then... motco
  • Score: 8

5:58pm Thu 30 Jan 14

thethe says...

dbanes wrote:
I'm generally against trashing the country side for road or rail projects, but given we need the capacity (have you ever tried to go London to Midlands at peak times?) I think rail is the better option.
You can get there from Marylebone or from Euston on either of the existing rail routes.
[quote][p][bold]dbanes[/bold] wrote: I'm generally against trashing the country side for road or rail projects, but given we need the capacity (have you ever tried to go London to Midlands at peak times?) I think rail is the better option.[/p][/quote]You can get there from Marylebone or from Euston on either of the existing rail routes. thethe
  • Score: 9

6:47pm Thu 30 Jan 14

Robert.M says...

This is bloody typical of Cameron and his lying cohorts, treat the public like mushrooms, keep them in the dark and feed them s**t,
This is bloody typical of Cameron and his lying cohorts, treat the public like mushrooms, keep them in the dark and feed them s**t, Robert.M
  • Score: 9

12:23am Fri 31 Jan 14

FLiszt says...

I'll second all the 'disgraceful' comments, and add that you'll all have a chance to kick these HS2 loving Conservatives, L-D's and Labourites in the Ballot Box in May by voting UKIP.

If that doesn't persuade them to back off HS2, well then give tham another kick in the Ballot Box by voting UKIP again in 2015. The Conservatives cannot win a General Election outright, so if at least everyone up and down the line, votes anti-HS2 - i.e. UKIP - we'll stop it together as that'll be a key red line which will not be crossed in any future coalition.

On the other hand, with the support UKIP is attracting up and down the country, we could come from no Westminster seats now, to winning a landslide general election - there have been surprise wins in the past: e.g. 1906 - and after all, more recently, nobody expected the number of councillors UKIP got last May (including the UKIP hierarchy!) .
I'll second all the 'disgraceful' comments, and add that you'll all have a chance to kick these HS2 loving Conservatives, L-D's and Labourites in the Ballot Box in May by voting UKIP. If that doesn't persuade them to back off HS2, well then give tham another kick in the Ballot Box by voting UKIP again in 2015. The Conservatives cannot win a General Election outright, so if at least everyone up and down the line, votes anti-HS2 - i.e. UKIP - we'll stop it together as that'll be a key red line which will not be crossed in any future coalition. On the other hand, with the support UKIP is attracting up and down the country, we could come from no Westminster seats now, to winning a landslide general election - there have been surprise wins in the past: e.g. 1906 - and after all, more recently, nobody expected the number of councillors UKIP got last May (including the UKIP hierarchy!) . FLiszt
  • Score: 7

2:53am Fri 31 Jan 14

Dickitdo says...

dbanes wrote:
I'm generally against trashing the country side for road or rail projects, but given we need the capacity (have you ever tried to go London to Midlands at peak times?) I think rail is the better option.
Do you not realise the damage that this White Elephant is going to cause , the thousands of acres of farmland that will be lost from food production, the farms that will be cut in two with no sensible route from one part to the other , footpaths bridleways country lanes lost and a lot of money spent to divide the country down the middle . We do not need this silly HS2 just lengthen the existing stations and lengthen the trains . In the meantime jump in your car ,its cheaper more convenient and you are less less likely to lose your umbrella .
[quote][p][bold]dbanes[/bold] wrote: I'm generally against trashing the country side for road or rail projects, but given we need the capacity (have you ever tried to go London to Midlands at peak times?) I think rail is the better option.[/p][/quote]Do you not realise the damage that this White Elephant is going to cause , the thousands of acres of farmland that will be lost from food production, the farms that will be cut in two with no sensible route from one part to the other , footpaths bridleways country lanes lost and a lot of money spent to divide the country down the middle . We do not need this silly HS2 just lengthen the existing stations and lengthen the trains . In the meantime jump in your car ,its cheaper more convenient and you are less less likely to lose your umbrella . Dickitdo
  • Score: 12

10:00am Fri 31 Jan 14

Ivor'sbestfriend says...

Robert.M wrote:
This is bloody typical of Cameron and his lying cohorts, treat the public like mushrooms, keep them in the dark and feed them s**t,
Unlike Labour and their lying cohorts.
[quote][p][bold]Robert.M[/bold] wrote: This is bloody typical of Cameron and his lying cohorts, treat the public like mushrooms, keep them in the dark and feed them s**t,[/p][/quote]Unlike Labour and their lying cohorts. Ivor'sbestfriend
  • Score: 1

12:04pm Fri 31 Jan 14

Robert.M says...

Ivor'sbestfriend wrote:
Robert.M wrote:
This is bloody typical of Cameron and his lying cohorts, treat the public like mushrooms, keep them in the dark and feed them s**t,
Unlike Labour and their lying cohorts.
If any politician told me we are now in 2014 I would double check it , IF YOU told me I would check, then check again, and still doubt it.
[quote][p][bold]Ivor'sbestfriend[/bold] wrote: [quote][p][bold]Robert.M[/bold] wrote: This is bloody typical of Cameron and his lying cohorts, treat the public like mushrooms, keep them in the dark and feed them s**t,[/p][/quote]Unlike Labour and their lying cohorts.[/p][/quote]If any politician told me we are now in 2014 I would double check it , IF YOU told me I would check, then check again, and still doubt it. Robert.M
  • Score: 5

4:28pm Sat 1 Feb 14

Dickitdo says...

I hate being political, but the only way this madness will be stopped is to vote U. K. I. P.
I hate being political, but the only way this madness will be stopped is to vote U. K. I. P. Dickitdo
  • Score: 7

2:30pm Sun 2 Feb 14

Windsorian says...

I'm a supporter of HS2, but I also think it should be published. There are no state secrets involved and any amber / red concerns should be addressed.

I would be satisfied with Amber / Green.
I'm a supporter of HS2, but I also think it should be published. There are no state secrets involved and any amber / red concerns should be addressed. I would be satisfied with Amber / Green. Windsorian
  • Score: 1

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