HS2 campaign group hit at bid to block group including South Northants MP from lobbying Government

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South Northamptonshire MP Andrea Leadsom is among 414 people speaking out about the controversial HS2 rail link who could be blocked from having their say.

A House of Lords committee is scrutinishing the proposed route, which passes through the county, but HS2 Ltd has challenged the right of 414 petitioners to be heard.

HS2 Ltd argues that the 414 petitioners are not directly affected by the proposals and, therefore, do not have the right to air their views.

Mrs Leadsom is joined by Commons Speaker John Bercow, Attorney General Jeremy Wright, Europe Minister David Liddington, Energy Minister Andrea Leadsom, International Development Minister Nick Hurd, former ministers Cheryl Gillan and Caroline Spelman, and MP Craig Tracey.

Stop HS2 Campaign Manager Joe Rukin said: “The principle of representation for the common man has been established for 750 years, but in HS2 Ltd we have an organisation so arrogant, so dictatorial, and so distant to the people whose lives they are devastating that they think they can overturn one of the oldest fundamental human rights.

“These challenges are being made because HS2 Ltd want to speed up the process, and shut up hundreds of people who have genuine concerns about the feasibility of this badly thought out plan, and the competence of those running it.

“This is completely unreasonable, and it smacks of double-standards that hundreds of people who they allowed to be heard in the Commons are now being challenged on this right in the Lords,” he said.

In a statement to the Daily Telegraph, a Department for Transport spokesman said that some of the 414 petitioners affected by the challenge had been given the opportunity to petition Parliament during the Commons hearings.

The spokesman added that more than 2,300 people and groups had had their say on the HS2 Bill and that Parliamentary rules meant that only those directly affected through property or interests can put their case to the Select Committee