Page last updated at 12:20 GMT, Wednesday, 29 June 2011 13:20 UK

Wales questions: Gillan pressed over high speed rail

Welsh Secretary Cheryl Gillan has been urged to make good her pledge to resign over the government's plans to create a new high-speed rail link between London and Birmingham.

The proposed High Speed 2 (HS2) route would cut through Ms Gillan's Chesham and Amersham constituency in Buckinghamshire, and she has reportedly said she will resign from both the cabinet and the Conservative Party if the scheme goes ahead as planned.

At Commons questions on 29 June 2011, Ms Gillan faced anger from Welsh MPs over the decision not to secure the electrification of the Great Western mainline from London to Swansea.

Labour's Susan Elan Jones said: "I have heard of trains cancelled because of snow on the line and leaves on the line, but never before because of the secretary of state on the line."

Ms Jones added: "HS2 would bring great benefits to Wales, but our Buckinghamshire-based secretary of state opposes this.

"If our secretary of state won't stand up for Wales, why won't she resign?"

Mrs Gillan thanked Ms Jones for her "close interest in my career".

She added: "The government is currently consulting on a new, national, high-speed rail network programme of modernisation of the rail network, including electrification of the Great Western mainline to Cardiff."

Shadow Wales Office minister Owen Smith remarked that Welsh people were "very grateful for the offer" of Ms Gillan's resignation.

"But when will the precise date be to trigger it?" he asked.

"We are a generous people, we would very much like to give her a good send off."


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