Almost 30 Tory MPs have signed a motion aimed at derailing legislation to pave the way for a new high speed railway line.
Led by former Cabinet minister Cheryl Gillan, the 28 Conservatives are poised to rebel on Wednesday’s (June 26) key first votes on the High Speed Rail (Preparation) Bill.
Together with seven other MPs, they have signed a motion which would decline a second reading to the Bill - killing it off at the first Parliamentary hurdle.
If passed into law, the Bill would give the Transport Secretary the green light to spend money developing the new High Speed 2 line set to link London to Birmingham by 2026. Two second phase branches to Manchester and Leeds, via Sheffield, are planned by 2032.
But the rebel motion reads: “This House declines to give a second reading to a Bill which authorises preparatory expenditure on a railway without specifying further detail of the route and a limit on expenditure.”
Conservative MPs on the motion are Cheryl Gillan (Chesham and Amersham), Andrew Bridgen (North West Leicestershire), Dan Byles (North Warwickshire), Peter Bone (Wellingborough), Nadine Dorries (Mid Bedfordshire), David T. C. Davies (Monmouth), James Clappison (Hertsmere), Julian Lewis (New Forest East), Ian Liddell-Grainger (Bridgwater and West Somerset), Charles Walker (Broxbourne), John Baron (Basildon and Billericay), Edward Leigh (Gainsborough), Andrew Turner (Isle of Wight), Stewart Jackson (Peterborough), Bill Cash (Stone), James Gray (North Wiltshire), Jeremy Lefroy (Stafford), Fiona Bruce (Congleton), Steve Baker (Wycombe), David Ruffley (Bury St Edmunds), Tim Loughton (East Worthing and Shoreham), Christopher Chope (Christchurch), Andrew Rosindell (Romford), Bernard Jenkin (Harwich and North Essex), Philip Davies (Shipley), Anne McIntosh (Thirsk and Malton), David Amess (Southend West) and Sarah Wollaston (Totnes).
The other MPs on the motion are Labour MPs Frank Dobson (Holborn and St Pancras), Natascha Engel (North East Derbyshire), Geoffrey Robinson (Coventry North West) and Jim Cunningham (Coventry South), Green Caroline Lucas (Brighton Pavilion), Plaid Cymru’s Hywel Williams (Arfon), and independent Patrick Mercer (Newark).