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HS2 minister position vacant amid reshuffle

The function of Excessive Velocity 2 minister is vacant this morning after Andrew Stephenson was faraway from the submit.

Stephenson (pictured) was minister of state on the Division of Transport – with accountability for the £100bn speedy rail megaproject – for 2 and a half years till this week’s dramatic reshuffles.

However he has now been named as minister with out portfolio on the Cupboard Workplace as departing prime minister Boris Johnson reworks his crew following a number of key resignations.

The transfer provides to the sense of a management vacuum on the prime of HS2.

The function of chair at undertaking consumer HS2 Ltd has been vacant for a yr after the departure of Allan Cook last July.

As much as 29 people are known to have applied for the position, of which 5 had their functions taken ahead.

A fifth of all senior positions at HS2 Ltd were unfilled in March, based on staffing figures revealed on the time.

Key personnel working with the constructed atmosphere sector to have resigned this week embody construction minister Lee Rowley and housing minister Stuart Andrew.

Housing and communities secretary Michael Gove was sacked for urging Johnson to step apart and has been changed by Greg Clark.

Commenting on the departure of Stephenson, a Railway Business Affiliation spokesperson stated: “No matter whether or not the subsequent prime minister appoints a brand new HS2 minister, what issues is that the federal government will get on with delivering [the project] in full, as that is the one option to realise the total advantages. Meaning reinstating the Jap Leg and the Golborne hyperlink, which have been each within the HS2 plans till just lately.

“It’s crucial that HS2, the largest UK railway undertaking in generations, doesn’t drift attributable to an absence of political management within the coming weeks as a brand new authorities is shaped.”

In June, the federal government introduced that it was scrapping the Golborne Link from the HS2 section 2b invoice. The 13-mile stretch of observe would have linked Crewe and Manchester. Nearly all of the Jap Leg from the West Midlands to Leeds was ditched last November.

A Quantity 10 spokesman stated ministerial appointments have been ongoing.