Taxpayers were billed almost £60,000 per month so HS2 Ltd could hire the director of a firm it later awarded a £170 million contract. A written question by Cheryl Gillan reveals HS2 Ltd paid US engineering firm CH2M an astonishing £48,500 plus VAT per month pro rata for the services of interim chief executive Roy Hill. Under Hill’s tenure, HS2 awarded CH2M a highly controversial £170 million contract which is currently the subject of legal threats over conflict of interest allegations. The HS2 deal to hire Hill from CH2M is equivalent to a package worth £700,000 per year, nearly five times the salary of the Prime Minister. An extraordinary amount of money for any taxpayer-funded official, let alone one at the centre of a half-a-billion pound conflict of interest row. HS2 is already delayed and over budget, so it is hardly performance related pay. How do the Department for Transport possibly justify these numbers?