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Crossrail: Minister insists government unaware of delays until August

Transport minister Jesse Norman has insisted the government was not informed about the Crossrail delays until the end of August.

The project’s former chairman Sir Terry Morgan said this week that he told mayor of London Sadiq Khan a December 2018 opening was “not feasible” in July and made a series of accusations about the conduct of TfL during the period.

At a London Assembly committee meeting, Sir Terry also said he briefed transport secretary Chris Grayling about the issue and showed him the same document stating the project was not feasible.

He said: “I met the secretary of state on 31 July. It was the mayor’s suggestion, which I thought was very helpful, that I should make sure I go and brief the secretary of state after I had briefed the mayor. I used the same document to be frank, but I didn’t leave the document with the department.”

But in parliament on Thursday, transport minister Jesse Norman was asked if the government had been informed of the delays as early as 2016.

He said: “It is striking that the secretary of state was not notified until the end of August, and there has been some suggestion that TfL was notified before that.”

TfL has said it was not informed until the end of August, despite Sir Terry’s claim.

This week’s London Assembly meeting heard from Crossrail chief executive Mark Wild that “thousands of hours of construction work” is still required on the project, which is not due to open before 2020.

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