'I will always vote how I see fit’, says MP after rebel vote

BURY North MP David Nuttall has revealed why he rebelled in a Westminster vote over plans for a high-speed rail line.

Mr Nuttall was one of 37 MPs who opposed the idea in a House of Commons vote on June 26, and there were other Conservative colleagues who also voted the against the plan.

However, the vote was passed, and a Y-shaped train track linking Leeds and Manchester with London via Birmingham will now be built, with a scheduled opening time of 2032.

It is estimated journey times will be cut by an hour.

Mr Nuttall defied a three-line whip to vote ‘no’, incurring the wrath of Conservative Party bosses.

He explained: “I am always going to vote the way I see fit.

“If they wanted someone to just vote with the whip all the time, they could have got a Burton’s dummy in.

“And I’m not a Burton’s dummy. I know that voting my own way isn’t going to get me a promotion, but then I have no interest in becoming Minister for Paperclips.”

Mr Nuttall continued: “High-speed rail is a 19th-century solution to a 21st-century problem.

“People predict that it will bring more trade north, but where is the evidence?

“I worry that it will persuade more people to close their Manchester offices and move south.

“This is already looking like it is going to cost almost £50 billion, which works out at more than £1,000 for every one of my constituents.

“Yet I have not met one of my constituents who have told me that they have had problems getting a ticket on the existing Manchester-to-London train.

He added: “I hope it is a success, but I just cannot see the logic, and the problem with it is that all parties have agreed with the idea, so there has not been enough scrutiny of the evidence before this decision was made.”

Transport minister Simon Burns said: “Demand for long-distance rail travel has doubled to 125 million journeys a year in the past 15 years and by the mid-2020s the West Coast Main Line will be completely full.

“HS2 will provide the capacity needed in a way that will support thousands of jobs and billions of pounds worth of economic benefits.”

Comments (6)

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4:46pm Sat 6 Jul 13

Mr. Marcus says...

Has he got a new job to go to?
His political life is tatters now.
Has he got a new job to go to? His political life is tatters now. Mr. Marcus
  • Score: 0

10:06pm Sat 6 Jul 13

Sarah Lapsley says...

I worry Mr Nuttall votes on how he feels rather than what his constituents want.

It will be interesting in the next election to see if the people of Bury North are happy with our collective voice in parliament being the opinions of one man.

I understand that there are some who see MPs as elected experts whose judgement we trust. However, I am in the camp which believe they should vote in the way those they represent want.

I respect a man who will not tow the party line when he thinks it is wrong, but he doesn't seem to be listening and is boasting about how he knows best, which I am not convinced is the case.
I worry Mr Nuttall votes on how he feels rather than what his constituents want. It will be interesting in the next election to see if the people of Bury North are happy with our collective voice in parliament being the opinions of one man. I understand that there are some who see MPs as elected experts whose judgement we trust. However, I am in the camp which believe they should vote in the way those they represent want. I respect a man who will not tow the party line when he thinks it is wrong, but he doesn't seem to be listening and is boasting about how he knows best, which I am not convinced is the case. Sarah Lapsley
  • Score: 0

11:49pm Sat 6 Jul 13

Babbar Divino says...

It's not just about the availability of tickets from Manchester to London it's about cutting journey times. If it can be cut by an hour then that will make the north attractive to business no matter what Mr Nuttall thinks. At least there are other people around with a vision for the future not a vision no longer than the end of their nose.

I just hope that future governments are committed to this and make it happen whatever the cost and yes it will be bigger than the £50 billion estimated.
It's not just about the availability of tickets from Manchester to London it's about cutting journey times. If it can be cut by an hour then that will make the north attractive to business no matter what Mr Nuttall thinks. At least there are other people around with a vision for the future not a vision no longer than the end of their nose. I just hope that future governments are committed to this and make it happen whatever the cost and yes it will be bigger than the £50 billion estimated. Babbar Divino
  • Score: 0

7:45pm Mon 8 Jul 13

Upinsmoke says...

Would that be the same vision that built 2 and 3 lane motorways? How can anyone project what transportation options we will have at our disposal in 2025?
I would prefer to have solid evidence before committing to a 50 billion spend which is enough to solve the entire countries unemployment challenge. The evidence shouldn't be difficult to obtain. We aren't the first to do this. The spaniards for example have put in a high speed rail link between Madrid and Valencia (243 miles at a cost of 6 billion). Has Valencia prospered as a result? Well, do your own googling but in my opinion no it hasn't.
Would that be the same vision that built 2 and 3 lane motorways? How can anyone project what transportation options we will have at our disposal in 2025? I would prefer to have solid evidence before committing to a 50 billion spend which is enough to solve the entire countries unemployment challenge. The evidence shouldn't be difficult to obtain. We aren't the first to do this. The spaniards for example have put in a high speed rail link between Madrid and Valencia (243 miles at a cost of 6 billion). Has Valencia prospered as a result? Well, do your own googling but in my opinion no it hasn't. Upinsmoke
  • Score: 0

3:55pm Thu 11 Jul 13

carlchrystan says...

Excellent headline. Had me in stitches.

Having a headline of '"I will always vote how I see fit," says MP' is a bit like a headline saying: "'I like girls", says Boy George'!
Excellent headline. Had me in stitches. Having a headline of '"I will always vote how I see fit," says MP' is a bit like a headline saying: "'I like girls", says Boy George'! carlchrystan
  • Score: 0

4:07pm Fri 12 Jul 13

dwaind says...

Firstly, whoever believes that the journey time will be reduced to less that 1hr 8 minuites is in a dream world, the current average is 2hrs 8 mins, with the fastest being 1hr 58. Also currently a peak return ticket is £308.00, you can get some discounts buy buying early, however I have never paid less that £216.00 return.
So in my opions most of the figures quoted by politicians are ficticious, this guy has gone up in my estimation for voting against this obvious waste of money.

Whats the betting its used as an escape route for MP's and civil servents when the cuts really start to bite.
Firstly, whoever believes that the journey time will be reduced to less that 1hr 8 minuites is in a dream world, the current average is 2hrs 8 mins, with the fastest being 1hr 58. Also currently a peak return ticket is £308.00, you can get some discounts buy buying early, however I have never paid less that £216.00 return. So in my opions most of the figures quoted by politicians are ficticious, this guy has gone up in my estimation for voting against this obvious waste of money. Whats the betting its used as an escape route for MP's and civil servents when the cuts really start to bite. dwaind
  • Score: 0

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