Osborne accused of trying to divert HS2 line from Tatton

Foreign Secretary Willaim Hague, Chancellor George Osborne, and Secretary of State for Defence Philip Hammond
Chancellor listens as Ed Miliband speaks during Prime Minister's Questions. Photo: PA Wire

Chancellor George Osborne has been accused of trying to divert the route the planned high-speed HS2 rail line will take through his Westminster seat in Cheshire.

Labour leader Ed Miliband said Mr Osborne should concentrate on the economy and spend "less time worrying about how to divert high-speed rail routes away from his constituency".

But Prime Minister David Cameron said the route, unveiled earlier this week, would go "right through the middle of the Chancellor's constituency".

The Labour leader said: "I have to say to the part-time Chancellor, he should spend more time worrying about the economy and less time worrying about how to divert high-speed rail routes away from his constituency."

The Chancellor's Tatton seat lies along the route taken by the line to Manchester.

It was reported that Michael Jones, the leader of Cheshire East council, issued a press release saying: "Your MPs George Osborne, Edward Timpson and I, have fought hard to keep the line away from Knutsford and Tatton, which we have been successful in achieving."

Mr Miliband began to read Mr Jones' comments but was cut off by Speaker John Bercow as the volume of heckling from Tory MPs threatened to drown out the Labour leader.

Mr Cameron said: "Let me say on high-speed rail, which goes right through the middle of the Chancellor's constituency, we are proud of the fact that it's this Government that has taken the decision to invest."