What's happening? After days of speculation, Wednesday's Conservative Party Conference saw the Conservative Party's worst-kept secret revealed - the Manchester leg of HS2 is indeed being scrapped.
Despite Downing Street denying earlier this week that any final decision had been made, Rishi Sunak announced the £36 billion earmarked for the high-speed rail link was instead going towards "hundreds" of transport projects.
Somewhat confusingly, Sunak also pledged to end the "30-year political status quo" - appearing to forget that the Conservative Party was in power for more than half of that - stating: "It's time for a change, and we are it."
Ahead of Sunak's highly anticipated conference address, Leader of the House of Commons Penny Mordaunt gave a rousing speech that would not have been out of place in a war film, urging party members to "stand up and fight", while Sunak's wife Akshata Murthy introduced her husband, spoke briefly about his love of rom-coms, and assured voters he was "working hard".
Read more: Your Conservative party conference cheat sheet (Evening Standard)
Yahoo rounds up the big news from Sunak's speech...
Sunak (finally) announces HS2 will be scrapped
Despite pleas from northern political figures - including from Conservative West Midlands mayor Andy Street - Sunak has decided the Manchester leg of HS2 is no longer financially viable.
“I say to those who backed the project in the first place, the facts have changed and the right thing to do when the facts change is to have the courage to change direction," he said.
“So I am ending this long-running saga. I am cancelling the rest of the HS2 project and in its place, we will reinvest every single penny, £36 billion in hundreds of new transport projects in the north and the midlands, across the country.
“This means £36 billion of investment in the project that will make a real difference across our nation.”
He added that people who disagreed with him would be curbing investment in hundreds of other projects.
“An alternative which in place of one delayed and overrunning project will now begin hundreds upon hundreds of new projects, large and small, road and rail, bus and train covering the whole country that will be delivered faster, that will see every region receiving more investment than they would have done.
Read more: Rishi Sunak promises new ‘Network North’ after scrapping northern leg of HS2 (The Yorkshire Post)
No more smoking
In a move that has been praised by anti-smoking campaigners and charities, Sunak proposed raising the smoking age one year, every year.
He said: “That means a 14-year-old today will never legally be sold a cigarette, and that they and their generation can grow up smoke-free.
“We know this works. When we raised the smoking age to 18, smoking prevalence dropped by 30% in that age group.”
Referring to smoking as the single biggest cause of preventable death in the UK, he added: “We have a chance to cut cancer deaths by a quarter, significantly ease those pressures, and protect our children, and we should take it.
Sunak said there would be a Commons vote on the change in the law in the future, but said it would be a free vote, describing it as a “matter of conscience”.
"I have spent a long time weighing up this decision. Simply put, unlike all other legal products, there is no safe level of smoking," he said.
Read more: Rishi Sunak's plans to ban smoking praised by campaigners and charities (National World)
A-levels out, Advanced British Standard in
Sunak also announced that the government will introduce a new, combined single qualification called the Advanced British Standard, which will bring together A-levels and T-levels.
He said: "Firstly, this will finally deliver on the promise of parity of esteem between academic and technical education.
“Because all students will sit the Advanced British Standard.
“Second, we will raise the floor ensuring that our children leave school literate and numerate because with the Advanced British Standard all students will study some form of maths and English to 18 with extra help for those who struggle most.
“In our country no child should be left behind.”
A spokesperson for the prime minister later said it would take a decade for the changes to be implemented.