Geoffrey Robinson MP says Labour should not support HS2

Map showing part of the proposed high-speed rail route

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A Labour MP has called on his party leadership to withdraw its support for the planned high-speed rail line (HS2).

The £17bn rail link would cut journey times between London and Birmingham and currently has the support of the three main political parties.

But Coventry North West MP Geoffrey Robinson told the Politics Show in the West Midlands that the full impact of the cuts had not been felt yet.

Supporters of the scheme have said it will create thousands of jobs.

The planned 250mph route aims to cut journey times between London and Birmingham to 49 minutes.

'Undermine the economy'

There are also plans to extend the link to Manchester and Leeds taking the overall cost to £33bn.

When asked if he felt the Labour front bench might break-ranks, Mr Robinson said: "I hope so. I suspect it will.

"We haven't felt the impact of the cuts yet.

"Wait until we get those and we see really decent social and economic projects being cancelled because of a lack of cash."

But Albert Bore, leader of the opposition Labour group on Birmingham City Council, told the programme: "If we don't put the transport infrastructure in place we'll undermine the economy of this country."

Hundreds of people against the proposals attended a national convention in Warwickshire on Saturday ahead of government consultation.

Campaigners said the scheme was not environmentally and economically sound.

A six-month consultation process is expected to start in the next few weeks.

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