Alison Munro, the chief executive of High Speed Two Ltd said: "This is a project that the country needs. The existing railway is becoming increasingly full and by the middle of the next decade parts of it will be effectively full.
"So we need to start now to plan to have that capacity in place."
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The Labour MP expects the death toll in the Grenfell fire to be well above 79 and blames the disaster on Tory attitudes to social housing.
A large fire at a car storage yard this morning destroyed 8 cars and left another 35 damaged
Residents from Grenfell Tower who were being temporarily housed in a Kensington hotel say they were told to leave with just hours notice