Northamptonshire MP Leadsom barred from taking part in HS2 Inquiry

Northamptonshire South MP Andrea Leadsom has been blocked from speaking on the HS2 rail scheme in the House of Lords - even though her constituents would be among the most affected by the line.

Friday, 22nd July 2016, 6:30 am
Updated Thursday, 25th August 2016, 5:59 pm
Andrea Leadsom has been blocked from speaking on behalf of her constituents in a House of Lords inquiry over HS2.

Lawyers working on behalf of HS2 Limited have successfully blocked eight MPs from speaking at the House of Lords Select High Speed Rail committee on behalf of their constituents.

The committee has been set up in the upper house to scrutinise legislation allowing construction of the HS2 line to begin next year.

But because of a bizarre ruling at the request of the Department of Transport, the Lords inquiry has barred MPs such as Environment Secretary Mrs Leadsom from taking part, because she is not personally directly affected by the line.

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All the eight MPs had submitted petitions to the committee to have their “locus standi” - their right to be heard - but now those petitions have been dismissed.

Mrs Leadsom’s office is preparing a statement in response.

Stop HS2 campaign manager Joe Rukin, said: “This decision from the House of Lords committee, that in effect MPs cannot represent their constituents, goes completely against all concepts of natural justice and is a very sorry state of affairs.

“The job of MPs is to represent their constituents, and with HS2 being the biggest single issue in these constituencies, they have basically been banned from doing their jobs.”

“This sends a very clear message to those affected by HS2 that the Lords Committee is not really interested in hearing genuine concerns about the project, but just wants to complete the process as quickly as possible, and do not seem to be interested in their supposed primary role to properly scrutinise the plans.”

The preferred HS2 route would skirt north of Brackley as it heads through the county, skirting past a number of rural villages including Chipping Warden .