Jeremy Wright has defended his decision to abstain from Monday’s HS2 vote with promises he will turn against the plans if things do not improve.
The High Speed Rail hybrid bill passed in its second reading in Parliament after support from over 450 MPs.
Abstaining from the vote, the Kenilworth and Southam MP insisted that without change, he will vote against the bill it its third reading which requires a House majority to pass as law.
The Conservative minister is in favour of a high speed rail in a more acceptable form and said: “I appreciate that the decision I have taken at this point may be a disappointment to a number of my constituents.
“I believe I should seek to exert pressure on behalf of my constituents at a time when it is most likely to yield results. That time was clearly not the second reading of the bill.
“The best course of action for me to take at this point was to abstain with the proviso that, if it is not improved in subsequent stages of the legislative process sufficiently to mitigate its current adverse impact on my constituents, I will vote against it.”
He explained that the next committee stage of the bill’s journey through Parliament is the time to make vital changes for the good of our district which he will be closely monitoring to ensure major issues raised to date are adequately addressed.
A vote against the bill at this stage would also have required Mr Wright’s resignation from the Government which he said would put him in a ‘less able position’ to fight for the best deal under HS2.