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Emergency bid to ban HS2 report

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Government ministers are trying to use emergency powers to ban the publication of a damning report into the controversial HS2, it emerged today.

Two senior figures have called on Prime Minister David Cameron to veto the release of a report that labels the £50 billion project in danger of failing.

Cabinet Office Minister Francis Maude and Staffordshire-born Transport Secretary Patrick McLoughlin claim the publication of the document would cause 'political and presentational difficulties' and could seriously damage the project.

Critics today hit out in anger at the latest development.

They say they will use Freedom of Information laws to demand that the Project Assessment Review from November 2011 be published. The Information Commissioner has rejected ministers' objections and ordered them to release the report.

But in a leaked letter to Mr Cameron, circulated to ministers, Mr Maude and Mr McLoughlin both urge that an emergency veto be put in place. Such a veto is hardly ever used, but was deployed to stop publication of Cabinet discussions of the Iraq War.

Campaigner Trevor Forrester said the ministers' attempts to block the Government report was absolutely disgraceful.

A consultation event is taking place today at the Staffordshire County Showground.

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