1. ITV Report

Cheryl Gillan: "PM wanted a Welsh MP as Welsh Secretary"

The Government should scrap its planned HS2 rail link from London to Birmingham and invest more in infrastructure like the Cardiff and Valley Lines, says former Welsh Secretary Cheryl Gillan.

Speaking to Dermot Murnaghan on Sky News, she said: "Now the time has passed to hand (the post of Welsh Secretary) to someone else and that allows me to go back to my roots, if you like, and actually speak out about something that is affecting my constituency and that is this terrible HS2 project.

I know the Prime Minister and the rest of my colleagues have known of my complete opposition to it. The premise of Government is that there is collective responsibility and you have to do your duty and adhere to that.

Unfortunately, I am liberated now so I could either see myself as a victim or as quite the reverse, I actually see it as a very exciting time in my political life.

She said Prime Minister David Cameron had made no secret of the fact he wanted an MP who represented a seat in Wales in the post of Welsh Secretary. Mrs Gillan said she had a "very exciting front bench career" and insisted there was a place for women at the cabinet table.

She praised her successor David Jones as "very able", stating that it would ensure "continuity" in the Wales Office.

What we need is we need a plan now for infrastructure, things like electrification of the main line down to Cardiff and the Valleys line that I lobbied for and got within Government for Wales.

More on this story