New Tory rebellion over HS2 as grassroots threaten funds "strike"
David Cameron has been warned by his chief fundraiser that he faces a backlash from grassroots Tories and donors over the Coalition's proposed high speed rail link.
Lord Feldman, the Tory co-chairman, last week held a series of tense meetings with Conservative associations in areas which the planned link will pass through, after warnings that some were on the verge of mutiny.
At one meeting with Buckingham Conservative Association, there was "fury" from veteran Tory members who said their views on the £17billion HS2 line had been ignored, one member present claimed.
Chesham & Amersham constituency association has told Conservative headquarters it will be ending its commitment to contribute £10,000 a year to central funds while Buckinghamshire Tory associations have indicated they might do the same.
One member present at the Buckingham meeting said: "The message was loud and clear. We are deeply disillusioned. We put in all the hard work putting leaflets through doors and then Cameron rides roughshod over us. We are not Nimbys. We object to this on cost grounds. It is a complete waste of money.
"Lord Feldman told us he would take a very clear message back to Mr Cameron that we are not happy."
Grassroots Tory members in areas affected by the plan say the proposed link between London and Birmingham has dented already low morale in a number of Conservative strongholds which will be bisected by the line.
While some have threatened to withhold funds if the line goes ahead, others are saying they will adopt a go-slow attitude.
At the time of the next election, hundreds of normally loyal activists could refuse to help the party campaign if the line is going ahead, activists have warned.
The proposed railway slices through sixteen Conservative constituencies – four of which are cabinet ministers' seats and six more junior ministers'.
Up to 18 trains an hour will travel at 250mph through the English countryside, cutting through the Tory heartlands of the Chilterns,Buckinghamshire and Warwickshire.