Tories table motion arguing against second reading for Business Rate Supplements Bill

The Conservatives have tabled a motion to block the reading of a Bill which would provide vital funding for Crossrail.

David Cameron led opposition a law which would raise £3.5bn through a 2p supplemental levy on London businesses. MPs were due to debate the Business Rate Supplements Bill this afternoon, but the Tories tabled a motion arguing against giving the Bill a second reading.

The Conservatives are seeking a law limiting fundraising for the cross-London rail link, which will connect Maidenhead in Berkshire to Shenfield in Essex via Heathrow airport and London. They fear councils across the country would be able to bring in levies.

The government said it had no plans to change the legislation.

Lord Adonis accused the Conservatives of endangering the project. He said: "Crossrail would not go ahead without business rates supplements which have been agreed with the Mayor of London and are vital to the project."

Shadow transport secretary Theresa Villiers said: "Our position on Labour's flawed and unpopular proposals for a raft of new local taxes does not compromise our support for Crossrail."