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Politics latest: Rishi Sunak rejects ‘betrayal’ claim over HS2 as he faces series of live

The prime minister is now appearing on BBC Three Counties Radio, where the topics are HS2 and the Mid Bedfordshire by-election to replace Conservative MP Nadine Dorries. 

The by-election was triggered by Ms Dorries’ formal resignation last month, in which she launched a brutal attack on Rishi Sunak, telling him “history will not judge you kindly”. 

Mr Sunak is first asked if Ms Dorries standing down was “embarrassing” for the Conservatives. 

He avoids the question by talking about Tory candidate Festus Akinbusoye, saying he is “brilliant” and will be a “great MP”. 

He goes on to say MPs are elected by their constituents and it is not in his ability to stop them doing that job. 

“We can talk about the past, but most people are focused on the future,” he adds. 

“Festus is working his socks off,” he adds. 

The topic moves to HS2 and if plans are going to change again. 

The PM reiterates his line that there are “spades in the ground” and says he wants to reform transport used by locals. 

He is then played a clip from a resident named Alan who is in tears saying Wendover will “never be the same again” due to the HS2 building works. 

Mr Sunak says he knows “how frustrating it has been” for Alan and “lots of communities” down the line. 

On a lighter note, he’s asked about being a huge Star Wars fan. 

“Would you say you’re more Skywalker, Han Solo or are you actually Darth Vader?,” he’s asked. 

But he replies that he’ll leave it up to others to answer. 

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