Boris Johnson news – live: Northern rail powers stripped in ‘power grab’, as PM orders migrant crisis review

Grant Shapps defends scrapping of HS2 Leeds extension

Ministers have removed funding and powers from Transport for the North, in what Labour described as a “Whitehall power grab” after the body’s furious reaction to cuts in the government’s Integrated Rail Plan.

TfN’s head, Louise Gittins, branded the plan “woefully inadequate” after it was revealed the Northern Powerhouse Rail (NPR) project linking Manchester and Leeds was to be scaled down and the HS2 high-speed track extension from Birmingham to Yorkshire was to be scrapped.

Andy Burnham, mayor of Greater Manchester, said the move was clear proof of opposition in Whitehall to the north having a strong voice.

Meanwhile, Boris Johnson ordered a government review of the migrant crisis. He is said to be “exasperated” by the issue.

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‘Exasperated’ Boris Johnson orders review of migrant crisis

The prime minister has ordered a Whitehall review into the migrant crisis and drafted in Stephen Barclay, chancellor of the Duchy of Lancaster, to oversee government attempts to find viable policies to stem figures.

Mr Johnson told front and backbench Tory MPs the issue was a priority and asked them for their support if he decided to adopt more “challenging” solutions, The Times writes.

“Boris is exasperated,” an unnamed, senior government source told the newspaper. “He sees this as one of his biggest priorities and he’s concerned that after two years there are still no viable solutions.

Liam James20 November 2021 08:24


Boris Johnson strips northern transport body of powers and funding

The government has removed powers and funding from the umbrella transport authority for the north, following the body’s furious reaction to cuts to the flagship Northern Powerhouse Rail (NPR) project.

In a letter to TfN chief executive Martin Tugwell, the Department for Transport said it would be taking sole responsibility for directing future work on the project.

Labour described the change as a Whitehall “power grab”. Shadow transport secretary Jim McMahon said: “It was clear that once Transport for the North found its own voice and came up with a Northern Powerhouse Rail plan the government didn’t support, it would meet its end.”

Andy Burnham, mayor of Greater Manchester, said it was clear Whitehall did not want the north to have a strong voice. He said he would “fight” for the survival of TfN.

Liam James20 November 2021 08:02


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