Prime Minister Rishi Sunak confirms HS2 line to Manchester scrapped during his speech at Tory Party Conference

The PM confirmed the scrapping of HS2 to Manchester in his conference speech
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Prime Minister Rishi Sunak has today (October 4) that the HS2 train line to Manchester has been scrapped. The PM used his speech on the closing day of the Conservative Party Conference in Manchester. 

The speculation has grown through the week, and the PM took to the main stage at the Manchester Central Conference centre this morning to confirm the news. Mr Sunak addressed a packed out hall to deliver his speech. 

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It is reported that before the speech, the PM met with his Cabinet. This was likely to discuss the speech and plans to axe HS2 to Manchester. 

The news means that the HS2 High Speed Railway will be built from London to Birmingham but no further. The axed Birmingham to Manchester line is the second stage of HS2 to be axed following the scrapping of the eastern leg which would have run to Leeds. 

Leader of the House Penny Mordaunt spoke before the Prime Minister. She used her speech to take aim at trade unions and labelling them as the "iron fist" as they lead industrial action.

Introduced on stage by his wife Akshata Murty as a "wonderful father, your prime minister' Mr Sunak was met with a loud applause. He started his speech with a reference to his mum who was a pharmacist and he went on to hint at the election campaign which is coming sooner rather than later.

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On HS2, he said he is "cancelling" the rest of the project, meaning everything outside of the London to Birmingham line. He added that "every single penny" saved from HS2 will go back into new transport projects in the North and Midlands, an amount which the PM says is £36 billion.

UK Prime Minister Rishi Sunak and his wife Akshata Murty walk to the Main Hall where he will deliver his keynote speech during day four of the Conservative Party Conference on October 4, 2023 in Manchester, England. Rishi Sunak delivers his first speech as Conservative Party Leader to members and delegates today. He is expected to announce the scrapping of the Manchester leg of the HS2 rail link and suggests alternatives. (Photo by Ian Forsyth/Getty Images)UK Prime Minister Rishi Sunak and his wife Akshata Murty walk to the Main Hall where he will deliver his keynote speech during day four of the Conservative Party Conference on October 4, 2023 in Manchester, England. Rishi Sunak delivers his first speech as Conservative Party Leader to members and delegates today. He is expected to announce the scrapping of the Manchester leg of the HS2 rail link and suggests alternatives. (Photo by Ian Forsyth/Getty Images)
UK Prime Minister Rishi Sunak and his wife Akshata Murty walk to the Main Hall where he will deliver his keynote speech during day four of the Conservative Party Conference on October 4, 2023 in Manchester, England. Rishi Sunak delivers his first speech as Conservative Party Leader to members and delegates today. He is expected to announce the scrapping of the Manchester leg of the HS2 rail link and suggests alternatives. (Photo by Ian Forsyth/Getty Images)

He added: "Every region outside of London will receive the same or more government investment than they would have done under HS2, with quicker results."

Mr Sunak referenced a jorney from Manchester as part of the 'Network North' idea. He said: "With our new Network North, you will be able to get from Manchester to the new station in Bradford in 30 minutes. Sheffield in 42 minute, and to Hull in 84 minutes on a fully, electrified line."

"I challenge anyone to tell me with a straight face that all of that isn’t what the North really needs," he added.