Ministers block HS2 report

Ministers have blocked the release of a report into the controversial HS2 rail project by over-ruling a decision by the freedom of information watchdog that it should be disclosed to campaigners.

Artist Impression

Campaigners against construction of the high-speed line between London and the north of England are demanding the publication of a cost-benefit analysis of the £42 billion scheme drawn up in 2011 for the Major Projects Authority.

They were hopeful that the Information Commissioner's decision last year to back their freedom of information request would lead to the revelation of damning information about doubts over the scheme's value for money.

But Transport Secretary Patrick McLoughlin said he was taking the "exceptional" step of vetoing the Information Commissioner's ruling that it should be released, arguing that there was a "strong public interest against disclosure".