McLoughlin faces HS2 report quiz
Transport Secretary Patrick McLoughlin faces a grilling from MPs over a contested report predicting the HS2 rail project could benefit the UK by £15 billlion a year.
The Commons transport committee has summoned the minister and the authors of the analysis - KPMG - following claims it was flawed and excluded less-positive aspects of the high-speed line.
A special hearing has been called for November 26 to seek an explanation.
Mr McLoughlin used the upbeat findings of the report, which was commissioned by HS2 Ltd, in a fresh push to bolster support for the controversial £50 billion project.
But while it listed the areas that would benefit - such as Greater London by £2.8 billion and the West Midlands by £1.5 billion - it omitted details of those that would end up worse off.
The full findings were finally released in response to a Freedom of Information request, and passed to the BBC's Newsnight programme.
Transport experts have also questioned the reliability of the methods used to calculate the benefits.
KPMG's head of infrastructure, building and construction, Richard Threlfall, last week rejected suggestions his employer "cherry picked" the most positive aspects of the research and had "gone out of our way to be as transparent as possible".
He said there had been no pressure from HS2 Ltd over the way the report was published..
He was answering questions at another parliamentary examination of the report, by the Commons Treasury select committee.
Lewis Atter, a partner in KPMG's global infrastructure and projects group, told the MPs that if anything the £15 billion figure was " a little low".
Labour MP Louise Ellman, who chairs the transport committee which backed the strategic case for HS2 in a 2011 report, said: "HS2 is a hugely significant and controversial investment.
"We are following up the questions we raised in our earlier report, in the light of significant new information."
A Department for Transport spokesman said: "We welcome the Transport Select Committee inquiry.
"HS2 is vital to the future of our country - it tackles the congestion problem south of Birmingham and will bring our great towns and cities closer together.
"The KPMG report makes an important contribution to our understanding of the impact of HS2, which is estimated to deliver an annual boost of up to £15bn to the economy.
"It is clear from their analysis that the country as a whole will benefit from the new north-south railway."