CABINET ministers have urged Boris Johnson to make a decision on HS2 now as it has become “the new Brexit” that is splitting the Tory party.
Senior ministers close to the PM fear his six month long review into whether the high speed new rail line should go ahead has opened up a deep chasm among MPs and members.
In extraordinary scenes yesterday, angry Tory MPs loudly openly barracked each other about it during PMQs.
One Cabinet minister told The Sun: “HS2 is the new Brexit. It has split the Tory party down the middle.
“The Conservative Party always has to have something to row about, and the longer it goes on the uglier it gets.”
Repeatedly pressed on what he will do, Mr Johnson would only tell the Commons it “can expect an announcement very shortly.”
Amid the angry Commons scenes, Tory backbencher Kevin Hollinrake called on Boris to give the £100bn project the green light, warning that cancelling it meant “decades of disruption”.
That lead to loud boos from other Tories, and shouts of “No”.
The PM, Chancellor Sajid Javid and Transport Secretary Grant Shapps meet in No10 this morning to talk through the options after a report found it will be years late and tens of billions over budget.
But Downing Street aides insisted there would be “no final decision” this week, as the Cabinet will have to sign it off.
A rail boss claimed yesterday that passengers would face 30 years of travel chaos if the HS2 project is scrapped.
In a leaked letter, Network Rail’s boss Andrew Haines makes the stark warning to the Department for Transport – in which he said the West Coast Main Line, the East Coast Main Line and the Midlands Main Line were full up.
Ugrading the routes would not deliver the same extra seating or journey times as HS2, he argued.
Mr Haines wrote: “On the East Coast Main Line where, assuming continuous weekends of closures to complete the works, the route would be closed at one location every week for between 26 and 29 years.