BREXITEER Iain Dale furiously clashed with a Remainer caller who told him Boris Johnson’s decision to give the HS2 project the go-ahead is to blame on Brexit.
LBC caller Claire told the radio host Brexit was to blame for the Prime Minister’s decision to give HS2 the green light earlier this week. The Remainer argued it was only because of Boris Johnson’s electoral gains in the so-called red wall in the north thanks to his Brexit strategy that he now felt obliged to go ahead with the controversial project.
She also claimed the UK would not come to a trading agreement with the EU by the end of 2020 – something that set Iain Dale off in a furious rant against the caller.
Claire said: “What has happened, Brexit has extradited HS2 simply because Johnson has got to keep the red wall happy. These votes have only been borrowed.”
Mr Dale laughed and blasted: “Fantasy.”
As the caller continued claiming that “HS2 is the result of the disastrous decisions”, the radio host replied: “You are absolutely delusional. If you think that HS2 has anything to do with Brexit. You are mad.”
Adamant, the caller replied: “We don’t have to accept something that’s going to be so disastrous for the country.”
So Mr Dale ended the call mocking the Remainer as he said: “You keep on fighting the good fight, Claire.”
HS2 has divided opinion with its spiralling costs and its impact on residents living on the route.
Supporters of HS2 say it will boost the economy, create jobs and improve transport.
But constituents in South Northamptonshire have consistently raised their concerns to their MP Andrea Leadson, now the Business Secretary.
In July, before Mrs Leadsom became Business Secretary, she held a Parliamentary debate calling on the Government to commit to a full review of the business case for HS2.
This was granted and led to a full independent review of HS2, undertaken by Doug Oakervee, supported by Lord Berkeley.
The divisive issue had faced the axe but was given the green signal in Parliament by the Prime Minister on Tuesday after the review was published.
Mr Oakervee recommended the project go ahead but with some caveats.
Speaking to the Northampton Chronicle and Echo in the wake of Tuesday’s announcements, Mrs Leadsom said: “I know this will disappoint many of my constituents.
“But I can assure them that the Prime Minister has taken into account my concerns for constituents.”
She added: “A minister will be appointed to oversee the project who will report to Parliament twice every year to hold HS2 properly to account.
“My priority, as it has been for the last 10 years, will continue to be making sure that affected constituents receive fair compensation and mitigation.”