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Boris Johnson defends HS2 U-turn, saying ‘levelling up cannot wait that long’ – UK politics live | Politics

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You don’t have to drill down very long into that £96bn to realise that most of that, or a good deal of that, is money already spent or the bit of the line that comes up to the Midlands. So that argument doesn’t hold water.

And as for the improved speed of [journey times], of course that’s a good thing. But if you don’t have a new line, you don’t sort out capacity. And that is the biggest problem that we’ve got across the north.

So, that is, I’m afraid just the tactics of trying to ensure that the focus isn’t on what’s really happened here, which is the breaking of two very, very important pledges. If you can’t level up in Bradford, then the whole levelling up agenda is seen for what it really is, which is just a slogan.

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