'Please Answer The Question': Rishi Sunak Under Pressure To Meet Northern Leaders Over HS2

The prime minister has spent the day refusing to say whether the Birmingham to Manchester leg of the project will be axed.
The prime minister appeared to lose his temper in the clip.
The prime minister appeared to lose his temper in the clip.

Rishi Sunak has refused to say that he will meet northern leaders over the future of HS2.

The prime minister was probed during a tetchy interview with ITV Granada’s Andrew Misra.

The pair clashed amid mounting speculation that Sunak is set to scrap the Birmingham to Manchester leg of the multi-billion pound rail project.

Asked if he will meet with Manchester mayor Andy Burnham to discuss HS2s future, Sunak first ignored the question.

That prompted Misra to say: “Prime minister, please answer the question. Will you meet the Greater Manchester mayor and the leader of Manchester City Council?”

Sunak replied: “I’m always meeting people all the time.”

The interviewer then said: “Will you meet them specifically in relation to HS2?”

The PM said: “I’ve met plenty of northern leaders already about this thing over the years.”

Misra then says: “So you won’t meet them?”

Sunak replied: “I meet people all the time, but what I am doing is delivering for communities across the north, investing in infrastructure. Again, it’s not just about HS2.”

Sunak cast the project into fresh doubt in a separate interview on BBC Radio Manchester this morning.

The prime minister was told “it’s a yes or a no” as he was directly asked what was happening with the project by presenter Anna Jameson.

But Sunak said he was “not speculating on future things” amid mounting fears the line will only go as far north as Birmingham.


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