Former Chancellor predicts PM will U-turn on HS2 cuts

Former Chancellor George Osborne has predicted Prime Minister Boris Johnson will make a U-turn on the government’s decision to cut HS2’s eastern leg.

Talking to the Financial Times’ Payne’s Politics podcast, Osborne – who was Chancellor from 2010 to 2015 during David Cameron’s government – labelled the decision to scale back on HS2 as “pretty disappointing”.

“I don’t think high speed rail in the east of England up to Yorkshire is dead yet,” he said. “You had a Labour Party commit very quickly to build it.

“I think the pressure will grow on the Conservatives because … there are actually quite a lot of marginal seats around Bradford and Leeds.”

Osborne also added that the government’s railway package was too short in terms of infrastructure plans, the Financial Times reported.

“It’s not often you can say this about Boris Johnson but he lacks ambition,” he said.

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