Andy Street has been lined up to be the new ₤ 200,000 a year chairman of the HS2 rail link if he loses his quote to win a second term as West Midlands mayor, The Telegraph can disclose. Mr Street is understood to have actually been sounded out about the function, which was officially promoted by the Cabinet Workplace recently. Applications for the three-day a week job opened on April 1 and will close on May 20. The outcome of the mayoral elections on May 6 will be stated two days in the future May 8. Mr Street, who was handling director the John Lewis department chain from 2007 to 2016, would appear to be ideal for the function, changing Allan Cook who resigned in February. The task requirements requests for someone with an “capability to lead a large organisation to grip significant programs” and who is “politically astute both in managing relationships and in building assistance amongst a series of diverse stakeholders”. The successful prospect should likewise have “exceptional stakeholder engagement and interaction abilities” – both of which are Mr Street’s strengths. In an interview with Chopper’s Politics this weekend, which you can listen to on the audio player above, Mr Street admitted he had had a variety of offers over current months but was concentrated on the battle versus Labour’s prospect Liam Byrne, the previous Cabinet minister. He stated: “‘I’ve had one or two ideas of jobs in the last couple of months and it doesn’t impress me since I say, well, hang on, you’ll be winning this election. “I have said the same to each and every single individual. Not interested, ruling out anything. There’s one task I want and it remains in the hands of the electors of the West Midlands.” He added that HS2 needs to not be reevaluated due to the fact that of a possible fall in passenger projections after Covid. “We’re not evaluating HS2 on the back of the Covid scenario. This is a financial investment that everybody said was for 50 or 100 years time,” he stated. “This will offer us a spinal column of brand-new transportation for the next a century. The Government has actually made its decision. “And if you look at the diggers in the ground – along certainly the London Birmingham path – it’s really clear they are pushing ahead.” In the podcast interview, Mr Street confessed he had actually been among the main champions of HS2 when its future was being evaluated after Boris Johnson became Prime Minister. He stated: “Yes, I was. I understand some disagree with me, but I think if you think about what the job of the mayor is, it is to step forward and lobby for what you actually think in. And I still think that will be a huge advantageous financial investment for the West Midlands. “So when great deals of members of the federal government weren’t truly clear what their view was or perhaps they were waiting to see which method the Prime Minister wanted to go, I was extremely clear. I have actually got to get out there and do the lobbying. “Some journalists even say that I persuaded the prime minister. I think that’s most likely overblowing it. But I was extremely willing to stand up and be counted because you need to do that in this job.” On the ‘culture wars’ around statues of questionable figures from the past, he said that individuals need to “actually appreciate the statue for what it is and really then dig behind what went on and if essential, condemn it … you can’t just engrave them out of history”. Mr Street promised that as mayor he would ensure that more houses would be constructed for young households however would likewise do “whatever I can” to protect the Green Belt. He stated: “Every time a home is developed on the Green Belt, in a sense, it’s not being built in a run-down industrial place. “And if you might require that structure on the run-down industrial place, you bring those communities back to life. That is actually what we are doing.” Mr Street won the election by just 4,000 votes in 2016. Inquired about his immediate strategies if he stops working to win a second term next month, he stated: “I shall go to my place in Wales and have a summer on a beach in Wales. It is where everybody Midlanders go on holiday.” Listen to the complete interview with Andy Street, as well as former Labour spin medical professional Alastair Campbell and former Tory MP Edwina Currie on Chopper’s Politics podcast utilizing the audio gamer at the top of this post, or on Apple Podcasts, Spotify or your favored podcast app.