The PM should have come clean on HS2 before he travelled to Manchester - The Yorkshire Post says
On the one hand there are briefings that the plug is being pulled on the Manchester leg of HS2. But then on the other, you have the PM claiming that it was wrong to speculate about the future of HS2. Speculation that is being driven by Rishi Sunak and his team. It suggests that the PM and his advisers are not very good at politics or indeed managing the optics around announcements.
Given that the Conservative Party Conference is being held in Manchester, to ride in with promises of not improving the city and wider region’s transport network but insinuations that HS2 would never make it to the North is perplexing.
There will also be many people in the region who will question whether the PM is being honest with them. Mr Sunak should perhaps cast his mind back to the first day that he stood on the doorstep of 10 Downing Street as PM and pledged to lead with integrity, professionalism and accountability.
The absurdity of the messaging around the future of HS2 is further compounded when Mr Sunak says that he won’t be rushed into a decision, like he and his Government hasn’t had enough time to come clean on what the future holds for HS2.
The ducking and diving is simply obfuscation that the region doesn’t have any time for nor can it afford. All it does is leave millions of people across the North hanging by a string.
It won’t sit well with voters in the North. And neither will missing out on the opportunity to improve life chances that HS2 could have brought to the region.