PM orders HS2 savings review

David Cameron has the CBI conference that he has ordered the new boss of the HS2 rail project to find ways of cutting costs. He accused critics of the project of "putting the country's future at risk."

Cameron aims to ensure 'value for money' from HS2

David Cameron says he aims to get "every penny for value for money" from the investment in the controversial HS2 rail project.

Speaking at the annual CBI conference, Mr Cameron insisted the scheme would "unite the country and drive economic growth".

David Cameron says he aims to get 'every penny for value for money' from the HS2 scheme Credit: PA Wire

The Prime Minister said the leader of the HS2 scheme, Sir David Higgins, would "drive every extra bit of cost out of the project" so it comes in under the estimated £50 billion budget that has been set.

The Prime Minister went on to claim that critics of the project were "putting the country's future at risk" and called for a "concerted consensus" across business and politics to get behind the project.

Read: Government unveils new business case in its HS2 fightback

Boris frustrated with HS2 timescale

Boris Johnson has expressed frustration at the drawing out of the HS2 project timescale.

Boris Johnson in Shanghai
Boris was struck by China's efficiency with building high-speed rail when he visited the country last month. Credit: PA

The Mayor of London wrote in The Telegraph that China built its own high-speed rail in just two years.

Meanwhile, he said, Labour are delaying the project further by "shamelessly courting the sceptic vote".


Labour 'would set up infrastructure commission'

A Labour government would set up an independent infrastructure commission to end delays in major infrastructure projects such as HS2, according to Ed Balls.

The shadow chancellor is expected to tell today's Confederation of British Industry conference that an infrastructure commission would "end dither and delay in infrastructure planning and build the consensus on infrastructure that we need to invest for the long-term".

Balls: Labour's HS2 support 'not at any cost'

Ed Balls will express his commitment to HS2 today, but will reiterate that Labour's support for the project is "not at any cost".

Ed Balls
Ed Balls says the government is "desperately mismanaging" the HS2 project. Credit: PA

He is expected to tell the annual Confederation of British Industry conference today: "Labour supports HS2 and the idea of a new North-South rail link because of capacity constraints on the existing rail network. But our support for it is not at any cost.

"The Labour Party cannot - and will not - give the government a blank cheque."

Cameron: HS2 delayers show 'lack of vision'

David Cameron will tell the annual Confederation of British Industry conference today that those who seek to delay HS2 show a "lack of vision".

He is expected to say: "Britain is in a global race for jobs and wealth. Our infrastructure is decades out of date and we urgently need to invest and build.

The Prime Minister has tasked the new boss of HS2 with cutting costs, amid criticism from Labour that the project has a "black cheque".

David Higgins
HS2 boss Sir David Higgins has been tasked first with cutting costs and maximising benefit in his new role. Credit: PA

The Prime Minister accused delayers of "betraying" those in the north who are most likely to benefit from the high-speed rail project.

"Those who want to delay or obstruct HS2 show a lack of vision. They are playing politics with Britain's prosperity. They are betraying everyone north of Watford. And they want to condemn Britain to the slow lane.

"We can either tell our grandchildren we made big, long-term decisions to build a better country... Or we can tell them we dithered for decades while the world raced ahead.

Cameron: HS2 boss must cut costs

David Cameron has tasked the new boss of HS2 to find ways of cutting costs.

David Cameron
David Cameron will tell a conference of business leaders that "fortune favours the bold - not the weak and indecisive". Credit: PA

Sir David Higgins' first task in the job will be to report on lowering costs and maximising benefits, David Cameron will announce today.

Speaking at the annual Confederation of British Industry conference in London, the Prime Minister will claim dithering over HS2 will condemn Britain to the slow lane.

The scheme needs cross-party approval to continue but Labour's shadow chancellor threw the party's support into doubt earlier this year.

Ed Balls raised concerns over the spiraling costs, insisting he would not sign a "blank cheque".