Former transport secretary and HS2 architect Andrew Adonis. Photograph: Getty Images.
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Andrew Adonis hits out at Osborne's "pure spin" over HS3

Former transport secretary says the coalition should focus on delivering HS2 earlier.

George Osborne's speech championing a new east-west rail link between Manchester and Leeds (dubbed "HS3") to create a "northern global powerhouse" has earned him praise from some unusual quarters. Joe Anderson, the Labour mayor of Liverpool, congratulated the Chancellor on his "bold step" during the Q&A that followed his address.

But one person who isn't impressed is Andrew Adonis, the former transport secretary and the architect of HS2. Adonis, whose growth review for Labour will be published next week (and which Osborne's speech was viewed as pre-empting), told me that the Chancellor was indulging in "pure spin" and should focus on ensuring HS2 is completed by the 2020s.

He said:

It's not going to be a high-speed line, he's just making a big thing of further upgrading the line. The big thing the north needs is to get HS2 in the 2020s, rather than the 2030s. What they've done is to divide HS2 at Birmingham, meaning the North will not see HS2 until the 2030s, whereas what they should have done, and I would have done, is to treat HS2 as one project, getting it up to Leeds and Manchester in the 2020s and of course that would have transformed connections between the North, the Midlands and London - the three big economic centres of geography would have been linked.

At present, phase one of HS2, running between London and Birmingham, is due to be completed by 2026, but phase two, running from the Midlands to Leeds and Manchester, won't be completed until at least 2032. Adonis added:

So having put the kibosh on that one, what he now does is to leapfrog the government's own failure by announcing a scheme which is in fact is only a further upgrade of a scheme that's already been announced, it's not a new high-speed line.

It implies that HS2 is now done, so we can move on to HS3; HS2 is not done, they stopped it at Birmingham. The vote two months ago was on the London to Birmingham stretch, they still haven't published a route north of Birmingham four years after I published an outline route.

The north needs HS2, that's what it needs. I'm not against any of these proposals, but to imply that they've done HS2 and now they're moving on to HS3 is, I'm afraid, just pure spin. HS2 does not exist at the moment north of Birmingham as a scheme, let alone as a project that's actually being implemented.

Expect Adonis's review, which Labour regards as its equivalent of Michael Heseltine's No Stone Unturned report (which it criticises the government for failing to embrace), to set out a far more ambitious vision next week.

George Eaton is political editor of the New Statesman.

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I believe only Yvette Cooper has the breadth of support to beat Jeremy Corbyn

All the recent polling suggests Andy Burnham is losing more votes than anyone else to Jeremy Corbyn, says Diana Johnson MP.

Tom Blenkinsop MP on the New Statesman website today says he is giving his second preference to Andy Burnham as he thinks that Andy has the best chance of beating Jeremy.

This is on the basis that if Yvette goes out first all her second preferences will swing behind Andy, whereas if Andy goes out first then his second preferences, due to the broad alliance he has created behind his campaign, will all or largely switch to the other male candidate, Jeremy.

Let's take a deep breath and try and think through what will be the effect of preferential voting in the Labour leadership.

First of all, it is very difficult to know how second preferences will switch. From my telephone canvassing there is some rather interesting voting going on, but I don't accept that Tom’s analysis is correct. I have certainly picked up growing support for Yvette in recent weeks.

In fact you can argue the reverse of Tom’s analysis is true – Andy has moved further away from the centre and, as a result, his pitch to those like Tom who are supporting Liz first is now narrower. As a result, Yvette is more likely to pick up those second preferences.

Stats from the Yvette For Labour team show Yvette picking up the majority of second preferences from all candidates – from the Progress wing supporting Liz to the softer left fans of Jeremy – and Andy's supporters too. Their figures show many undecideds opting for Yvette as their first preference, as well as others choosing to switch their first preference to Yvette from one of the other candidates. It's for this reason I still believe only Yvette has the breadth of support to beat Jeremy and then to go on to win in 2020.

It's interesting that Andy has not been willing to make it clear that second preferences should go to Yvette or Liz. Yvette has been very clear that she would encourage second preferences to be for Andy or Liz.

Having watched Andy on Sky's Murnaghan show this morning, he categorically states that Labour will not get beyond first base with the electorate at a general election if we are not economically credible and that fundamentally Jeremy's economic plans do not add up. So, I am unsure why Andy is so unwilling to be clear on second preferences.

All the recent polling suggests Andy is losing more votes than anyone else to Jeremy. He trails fourth in London – where a huge proportion of our electorate is based.

So I would urge Tom to reflect more widely on who is best placed to provide the strongest opposition to the Tories, appeal to the widest group of voters and reach out to the communities we need to win back. I believe that this has to be Yvette.

The Newsnight focus group a few days ago showed that Yvette is best placed to win back those former Labour voters we will need in 2020.

Labour will pay a massive price if we ignore this.

Diana Johnson is the Labour MP for Hull North.