Kirby ungripped

ROLLS Royce has proved more attractive to Simon Kirby than HS2; the chief executive of a rail project hated in many quarters of Camden departed his £750,000-a-year job as on Saturday. You can see why.

At his new offices, he is unlikely to be barracked with ‘get a grip, Kirby’ like he was – in an obvious play on words on Kirby grip, bobby pin – when he came to Camden in February. That day he needed protection from security. Some of the old folk were too scary for him.

If he needed one last reminder as to why High Speed 2 has proven so unpopular in Camden, where people and businesses have often felt like collateral damage in a carve-up drawn elsewhere, he could do worse than revisit the evidence of Netley Primary School headteacher, Bavaani Nanthabalan, who was close to tears last week as she asked peers for answers when she appeared at a House of Lords select committee. The drivers behind this £56 billion earthquake need to explain how Ms Nanthabalan’s pupils will go unharmed.

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