Negotiations between government and London’s biggest business groups appeared to be progressing yesterday as Gordon Brown pledged his support for the scheme, as long as businesses were ‘prepared to play their part’. The Daily Telegraph. The Times. Financial Times

Negotiators have been thrashing out a deal to close the £400m funding gap for the £16bn project ahead of this month’s public spending review.

Business representatives and the mayor of London yesterday expressed optimism that a deal was close.

Members of the Court of Common Council, the City of London’s ruling body, have been summoned to a secret meeting today by the corporation’s head of policy, Michael Snyder, to discuss the project.

Speaking to a business audience in Canary Wharf, Brown said he wanted Crossrail to go ahead ‘immediately’ but demanded that ‘all beneficiaries and the City of London’ made a ‘significant’ additional contribution.