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Former Chancellor attacks HS2

The former Labour chancellor Alistair Darling has strongly attacked plans to build a high speed rail line to London from the Midlands.

Speaking on national radio this morning, Mr Darling said the project's benefits were highly contentious, and it risked draining money from the railways for 30 years, despite backing the scheme when he was Transport Secretary.

Earlier this week the Government defended claims the budget could rise from 50 billion to as much as 80 billion pounds.