Bitesized Blighty: January 24, 2020

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  • An independent review into HS2, the proposed 250mph Y-shaped rail network linking Birmingham, Manchester and Leeds, has revealed that the cost of building it could rise as high as £106bn. This is up from £88bn last year, and almost three times more than the original £37.5bn estimate in 2011. Boris Johnson is expected to make a decision within weeks on the future of the railway line, which would run from London to Birmingham in a first phase and then on to Leeds and Manchester by 2040, seven years later than its original target.
  • Cases of the new strain of coronavirus in the UK are “highly likely”, a Public Health England (PHE) boss has said. Globally, there are more than 800 confirmed cases of the virus, which has already killed 26 people in China. So far, however, tests on 14 people in the UK have all come back negative, while most of those affected abroad by the virus have been making a good recovery. No need to panic yet!
  • Lisa Nandy has become the second Labour Party leadership candidate to make it through the final round of the contest. She joins frontrunner Keir Starmer on the final ballot, with Rebecca Long-Bailey also firmly in the mixer. The Week’s Latest betting odds below:
    • Keir Starmer 2/5
    • Rebecca Long-Bailey 5/1
    • Lisa Nandy 11/2
    • Emily Thornberry 80/1 

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