HS2: Prime Minister refuses to back own promise that high speed rail will reach Euston

ITV News reporter Lewis Warner pressed the Prime Minister twice today if he would promise that HS2 trains would go all the way.

The Prime Minister has refused to back his own promise that HS2 will run all the way from Birmingham to Euston Station in London, which he announced in his conference speech last week.

The West Midlands Mayor, who came close to quitting the Conservative party last week, said he had negotiated the change which had previously seen the line end almost ten miles away at Old Oak Common.

As part of his keynote speech last Wednesday, in which he announced the scrapping of the northern leg of HS2 between Birmingham and Manchester, and the shorter leg to the East Midlands, Rishi Sunak tried to appease those disappointed, by declaring it would go to into central London, and not stop in the suburbs.

However, the following day reports emerged suggesting that was dependent on private investment.

Critics maintain there is no point in HS2 at all if high speeds trains do not make their way into the centre of the capital city.

If HS2 stops at Old Oak Common, passengers would then have to take London Underground services to continue to central London by rail.

The construction site for the HS2 project at Euston Credit: PA

The Prime Minister said; "We're very confident that we can develop a new version of how Euston will be built which is releasing funds for the taxpayer which we've invested in other transport projects now around the country.

"That model that we're using is the one that has successfully been used to develop Battersea, where we attracted private money into the project, saving taxpayers money.

"That's something that we can replicate at Euston. This is not just about building a railway station, this is also about creating 10,000 homes for young people in central London which is fantastic news for them but also business opportunities as well.

"The opportunity here is fantastic to do something different for London, but also releasing billions of pounds of money that can now be invested in transport projects across the country."

The divisive issue of HS2 is one that nearly caused the West Midlands Mayor to quit his party.

A spokesperson for the mayor told ITV News; "The Prime Minister could not have been clearer in his speech that HS2 will go to and from Euston - something the Mayor personally helped to secure - and his comments this evening to your programme confirm that. The Mayor welcomes the PM's confidence, and will work with him to make it happen."

Want a quick and expert briefing on the biggest news stories? Listen to our latest podcasts to find out What You Need To Know: