The chief executive of High Speed 2, Alison Munro, has dismissed the claim that the rail project will cost £80 billion - more than double the official estimate - as "absurd".
She told ITV News that she "doesn't recognise" the figure allegedly quoted in a report by the Institute of Economic Affairs, and that she is confident the cost will not overrun.
More top news
NHS trusts are denying thousands of women across Britain fertility treatment in a bid to cut costs, a health watchdog has warned.
Overhaul of NHS would include workplace weight-loss schemes with money and shopping voucher prizes.
It is a wet and windy picture for many tonight, with the worst in the northwest.