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Ex-Tory councillors: MP Cheryl Gillan must face residents over High Speed 2
PRESSURE mounted on MP Cheryl Gillan over High Speed 2 this week, as former Conservative councillors demanded she face her constituents.
Campaigners against the £33bn rail scheme are furious over revelations that Mrs Gillan, pictured, sold her Amersham home in November two months before the Government approved it the rail route which would run close to her constituency home.
Former Great Missenden councillor Keith Miles said: “In view of statements made in the past in opposition to HS2 it is vital that Cheryl Gillan comes to her local constituents and explains her position. "She seems to have completely surrendered to pressure in the government.”
Mrs Gillan has welcomed government changes to mitigate the environmental impact of the line with tunnels and says it represents important progress to a scheme she had previously publicly been against.
But campaigners have accused her of backing down and putting her political career before that of her constituents.
Mr Miles said: “Members of Parliament should not appear to have changed course just because they are in power.
“We have loyally supported her over many years and we deserve a clear explanation why she now supports this grotesque waste of public money.
“If this project is so good I suggest it be privately financed and all MPs who are in favour put their own savings behind it.”
Nick Brentnall, also called for her to come back to Great Missenden said: “I am baffled by Cheryl Gillan’s stance on HS2. She was once against it and now she is supportive.”
He said the house sale was “if nothing else unfortunate timing.”
The village’s current Chiltern District councillor Seb Berry, Independent, echoed their calls.
Labour called for Prime Minister David Cameron to investigate if she had broken the ministerial code over the house sale.
The Amersham and Chesham MP’s office said on Wednesday: “The Prime Minister’s official spokesman said this morning at the lobby briefing there has been no breach of the ministerial code.”
She defended the house sale in a statement, which read: “Both I and my husband have mobility problems and the house was no longer safe or suitable for us in practical terms of accessibility.
“The property was put on the market in June 2010. Over a year later in July 2011 an offer was received and accepted for the property at a much lower price than the original independently valued asking price.
“The sale was concluded in the autumn of 2011 at a date set by the purchaser.”
Great Missenden resident Marilyn Fletcher said she and fellow villagers were fuming. “Cheryl Gillan’s action in selling her property in Amersham at a time like this is simply the last straw,” she said.
Welsh Secretary Mrs Gillan exclusively told the BFP last week she will not quit her Government position.