Eamonn fumes 'no one wants to live in London' as he rips apart 'national disgrace' of abandoning the north

Eamonn Holmes

Eamonn Holmes has raged at the north being left behind in potential HS2 plans

Alex Davies

By Alex Davies

Published: 26/09/2023

- 09:16

Updated: 26/09/2023

- 09:43

Reports have emerged to suggest members of the cabinet are split over potential plans to axe the northern leg of HS2

Eamonn Holmes and Isabel Webster welcomed Wigan-born Peter Barnes and Liverpudlian Ellie Phillips onto Tuesday's Breakfast on GB News to discuss the prospect of HS2 plans being shelved due to soaring costs.

Members of the government are reportedly at loggerheads about the potential axing of the northern leg of HS2 which would leave travellers north of Birmingham at a loose end compared to the original plans.

Eamonn and Isabel asked their guests what the benefits of ditching the northern leg of HS2 would have, which prompted Barnes to argue the money could've been used to fund projects which make a difference now.

Barnes even suggested no one in his hometown of Wigan even knows HS2 would affect them and improve links if it is built, which prompted Eamonn to ask if any work has even taken place outside of London.

"There are small little pots of it but hardly anything of any substance," Barnes claimed. "One of the major problems of HS2 is the planning system is absolutely catastrophic."

However, Phillips was keen to see HS2 delivered to the north as she put to the panel: "If it stops at Birmingham, that's just a commuter train! It is costing a lot of money but that's taxpayers' money and we're forgetting about the taxpayers in the north at the moment.

"It's meant to be creating up to 90,000 jobs, are those jobs not needed up north?

The GB NEws Breakfast panel

The GB News Breakfast panel debated whether HS2 should be shelved in the north


"It isn't a waste of money... yes it's going to cost more than it should but that's inflation -" Phillips continued before Eamonn chipped in to side with her point.

The GB News host weighed in: "Ellie, I remember when they said this about the Millennium Dome and every major - the Channel tunnel, the M25...

"So there's always other ways for them to waste this money. I sit and look and I don't go with Peter's argument which is 'it's a waste of money, let's claw all of this money back and it'll be put to good use'.

"No, it'll be poured down the drain like everything else!" Eamonn fumed to which Phillips then resumed her point: "If it stops where it is now then it is a waste because it's not connecting the whole of the country.

"The difference for me that it'd change is that you could get up to the north in an hour rather than two.

WATCH HERE: Eamonn rages at potential HS2 axe

"And also what's available at the moment is just completely sub-par," Phillips continued before she highlighted how HS2 could be used to transport freight as well as offer the public a cheaper alternative to travel north rather than the "astronomically expensive" tickets on sale at the moment.

She added: "Also I just think why should the north be completely cut off? If it was the other way around and had been Liverpool to Birmingham and London was cut out, everyone would be outraged!"

"There would be uproar!" Eamonn agreed before Barnes weighed in to claim the decision to shelve the project had "already been made" but the Tories were waiting until their party conferences next week before announcing it.

Isabel then quizzed whether it was an "embarrassment" to have a national rail system in such a state.

Phillips agreed, stating her sister lives in France and finds the transport system so much "easier and cheaper" before suggesting HS2 would ease any form of north-south divide.

The showbiz journalist also argued the system wouldn't solely be used for commuters but would end up bettering economies up north as more people travel for weekends away and leisure activities

Sharing his disdain for southern attitudes towards the North, Eamonn let loose: "I consider myself a northerner. I lived in Manchester for seven years, my son lives there now. My life and heart and soul of Manchester United!"

Isabel joked Eamonn was a "traitor" before he continued his point: "I've never seen myself as a Southerner. I never identified - London is somewhere you have to work, it's not somewhere you want to live.

Ellie Phillips

Ellie Phillips was outraged at the suggestions HS2 should be shelved


"But the idea that this divide of 'somewhere that's a bit backward' up north, you only have to go and see the suburbs of Manchester and Cheshire and all sorts of places.

"This whole business of Liverpool and Newcastle and Leeds in the east not being connected the way it should be properly, it's a national disgrace!" Eamonn fumed.

However, Barnes chipped in to argue that statistics show people in the north don't use public transport as much as those in London do.

But Isabel argued that this may change if better infrastructure was in place as she remarked: "Well, build it and they will come!"

The debate comes just 24 hours after Eamonn clashed with housing minister Rachel Maclean on GB News about the prospect of shelving HS2 plans.

She reiterated yesterday that the government has made "no decision" on the future of HS2.

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