Sir Terry Morgan has resigned as chairman of Crossrail Ltd and HS2 Ltd after last week admitting he expected to be sacked.
Last week Morgan claimed that he expected the delays to Crossrail would cost him his job as chairman of both bodies.
Morgan, who had been chair of Crossrail’s delivery body Crossrail Ltd since 2009, heard late on Friday that his job was on the line. He took on the role of HS2 Ltd chair at the beginning of August.
On Saturday the Financial Times reported that Morgan was lined up to be “sacked” from HS2. Following the publication of the article, Morgan undertook a phone interview with the BBC.
At the end of August Crossrail confirmed that Elizabeth Line services between Paddington in central London and Abbey Wood in the south east of the capital will not open until autumn 2019. The line was originally scheduled to open this December. In October, the government provided an additional £350M to the London Mayor’s Office to deliver Crossrail.
Speaking on BBC Radio 4’s PM programme on Saturday afternoon, Morgan was asked whether he was expecting to be asked to step down. He said: “Not formally as yet. There was a piece in the Financial Times this morning, and I did get confirmation late yesterday afternoon that that was a leak. As far as I’m concerned, I’m expecting that to be confirmed more formally in the next few days.”
He was then asked why he was “being forced out” after just four months in the role.
Morgan said: “I can only but assume, because I’ve not yet been told, that because HS2 is such a critically important programme and with the sense of disappointment around the performance of Crossrail, that it was considered to be too risky for a programme like HS2 to continue in my role as chairman.”
He said the situation left him with “mixed feelings” saying he felt a sense of responsibility for Crossrail’s position, but on HS2 felt he had a lot of experience and knowledge to give the programme and was disappointed he wouldn’t now have the opportunity to do this.
Morgan said HS2 was still very early in its development and could not be compared to Crossrail in terms of budget and delay difficulties.