Paul Holmes represented Eastleigh during "Partygate PMQs"

During THAT PMQs, @PaulHolmes88 raised a question on the railways, due to Eastleigh being a transport hub (with SOU Airport down the road from Sainsbury’s, and the final town before the coastal split on both road and rail); and asked the PM if Eastleigh should be the HQ of Great British Railways

Obviously Paul had to do his bit to help his leader, but it was still primetime to promote the town nonetheless.

Question is, could it work? Coild Eastleigh be the home of GBRailways

1 Like

Eastleigh could easily be the hub of the new railways body and we certainly have the history to back the bid. I am thoroughly unimpressed that Paul used a potential Eastleigh bid, as a shield and smokescreen for the Prime Minister’s lies and wrongdoing. Shameful that in the wider public consciousness this is how Eastleigh’s bid could be remembered.


Getting the new HQ seems like a bit of a long shot to be honest, and fighting over scraps like this isn’t really investment, or whatever levelling up is meant to mean. Proper long term investment in infrastructure and services to support people and businesses would be better than publicity generating stunts like the railway HQ competition. Still, there’s no doubt what sort of MP Eastleigh has now, and it’s not the one advertised in 2019.

Of course, it wasn’t a wasted opportunity for Paul Holmes, just another chance to ingratiate himself with Johnson. And possibly a feather in his cap from some Eastleigh voters. I’d like to think that the vast majority of Eastleigh residents would have preferred to hear him questioning Johnson’s honesty and integrity, and not have to listen to some carefully worded nonsense about it not being a party.

1 Like

Mr Holmes (no, not Sherlock) has been getting quite a grilling on social media (most notanly Twitter).

Will @PaulHolmes88 respond to this request from Cllr House?

Our local BBC political reporter has also asked him but as far as I know he’s still not said anything of substance. I guess he’ll eventually make a statement, although I imagine it’ll be something of a disappointment after all this anticipation- he did the same thing with the Owen Paterson story.

Getting a clear and unambiguous answer from a politian is almost impossible. They are all media trained to deflect the question by approaching it a roundabout manner, answering a question with a question or using it to bring up another subject all together.

Although Eastleigh does have significant railway history, I feel the idea of a headquarters for the postulated Great British Railways would be better suited to a more central location and politically shrewd move too, to appease the Andy Burnham’s of this world. Even the ‘Southern’ region of GBR will probably end up being in London. I’d love to be proved wrong but just think realistically about the logistics of locating the public-owned body into any business space suitable for task in hand.