Keighley’s MP is backing the planned new high-speed North-South rail link, which has cleared its first Parliamentary hurdle in the House of Commons.

High Speed 2 (HS2) will be the first new railway line to be built north of London for 120 years, linking eight of Britain’s largest cities.

Kris Hopkins said: “I’ve long been a strong advocate of the new link and firmly believe it will make a very positive impact on our economy in the North.

“HS2 will serve as a vital economic catalyst for businesses in the North to expand, compete and create new prosperity and jobs.”

Earlier this week, MPs rejected calls for the proposed rail link to be scrapped, despite a Conservative rebellion.

MPs threw out a proposal by ex-minister Cheryl Gillan for the plan to be halted by 451 votes to 50. MPs then approved the general principles of the Bill in a second vote by 452 to 41 votes.

But MP Philip Davies, whose Shipley constituency includes Denholme and Cullingworth, is opposing HS2.

He said: “I believe HS2 is a huge waste of money we simply cannot afford, and is likely to simply extend the commuter belt for London.

“Money would be much better spent on local infrastructure projects, such as a Shipley Eastern Bypass.”