HUDDERSFIELD MP Barry Sheerman waded into the debate on the Government's proposed High Speed Rail line this morning.
Transport Secretary Philip Hammond was urged to "keep his nerve" by Mr Sheerman as he faced calls for the multi-billion pound high-speed rail (HSR) line to be scrapped.
Mr Sheerman called on Mr Hammond to "ignore the deniers" and claimed cities in the North needed high-speed links.
Mr Hammond told MPs that opponents of the project had identified themselves and their interests in it. Now was time for supporters to highlight the benefits.
He was speaking following claims by a group of business leaders,politicians and economists who have branded the project,known as HS2, an "expensive white elephant".
In a letter to The Daily Telegraph, the 21 signatories, including former Tory Chancellor Lord Lawson of Blaby, dismissed the scheme as unaffordable.
The project, which could cost as much as £34bn and involves a London-Birmingham new line and then eventual links to Leeds, Manchester and Glasgow was not what the economy needed, they said.
At Commons question time, Mr Sheerman said: "Could I ask you to keep your nerve on this, our cities need high-speed links, certainly in Yorkshire and the northern regions, and ignore the deniers, the climate change deniers who have been publishing letters this morning."
Mr Hammond replied: "Those who are opposed to the building of this line have clearly identified themselves and their direct interests in it.
"It is now for those who will stand to benefit the most, particularly in our great northern cities, to voice their support during the consultation period."
Mr Hammond later revealed to MPs that German rail company Deutsche Bahn was set to start services from Frankfurt to London in 2012.
He added that there was a "strong case" for the electrification of Midland Mainline, which runs from London St Pancras up to Chesterfield,and includes stops in Derby, Nottingham and Leicester.