Calls for Resignation Over 'Misleading' HS2 Comments

Tories and Labour at loggerheads over high speed rail link

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Ealing's Cabinet member for transport says he has no intention of resigning after claims that he has misled residents over the High Speed Rail Link (HS2).

Former Council Leader, Conservative Councillor, Jason Stacey, criticised Labour's Bassam Mahfouz after a Freedom of Information request (pdf) showed that Ealing Council had not contacted the Department for Transport (DfT) regarding HS2 despite claiming otherwise.

Cllr Stacey said: “Many residents in this borough are extremely worried about the impact of HS2 upon their homes and they have looked to Ealing Council to fight on their behalf. Cllr Mahfouz has consistently said that this is the case and at a meeting of the full Council on 31st January he said that he was 'banging on every door in Government.'

''This answer to the Freedom of Information request has exposed Cllr Mahfouz's claims.  He has misled residents and is seeking to cover the fact that he has done nothing to help residents save their homes. His position is now untenable and he should resign."

Mr Mahfouz has detailed all the action that has been taken regarding HS2 - read here.

He says: '' The Conservatives locally are desperately trying to distance themselves from their government, despite the legitimate concerns of residents in Northolt, Greenford, Perivale, Ealing & Acton in steam-rolling ahead with their plans with careless disregard for their needs and the lives they are impacting on.

''I have said from the start that this issue is too important for petty party politics and would prefer to work together to see the changes we want to see to the route.  This is why in the past few weeks we have requested the meeting with Justine Greening and already sat down with her counterpart Maria Eagle as well as the Chair of HS2 and their engineers.

''...the decision not to provide a tunnel in Ealing and to impact on thousands of families in our borough was taken by this Tory led government and them alone.  The question they have to answer is why they feel the people of this borough can be treated as second class citizens to the rest of London and those in the Chilterns who will have HS2 tunnelled.”

21 March 2012