Posted 16th November 2018 | 3 Comments

Chris Grayling ‘set to stay’ in worsening Brexit row


SPECULATION that transport secretary Chris Grayling could be one of the remaining cabinet ministers poised to resign in the worsening Brexit row has been mounting, with bookmakers quoting the odds of his early departure at 10 to 1. However, a short time ago he was quoted as being one of the ministers who have agreed collectively to stay ‘to get this in a better place’, according to one Westminster source.

The same source quoted Mr Grayling and Michael Gove, Penny Mordaunt and Commons leader Andrea Leadsom as saying: ‘Resigning and joining a rebellion is not going to help anything.’

As the crisis in government continues, accompanied by rumours of a looming no-confidence vote in Prime Minister Theresa May, the railway industry also remains in disarray, with more RMT strikes set to be staged tomorrow (Saturday) on Northern and South Western Railway in the continuing disputes over the duties of drivers and conductors.

RMT general secretary Mick Cash said: ‘It is a national scandal that while other train operators have been prepared to engage seriously with RMT on the crucial issue of a guaranteed second safety-critical member of staff on their services ARN and SWR have dragged their heels and made a mockery of the talks process to the point now where they refuse point blank to engage in any meaningful negotiations at all.

‘It is crystal clear that the axing of guards is a cash-driven exercise aimed at shoring up profits on these rail franchises regardless of the public consequences.‎ The political cheerleader of this whole dangerous and bankrupt policy, the specialist in failure Chris Grayling, is reported this morning to be on the point of doing a bunk raising the serious question of who is now at the controls of transport policy in Britain?’

Both operators have said repeatedly that they are willing to resume talks, and that jobs are not at risk.

Meanwhile, new rail minister Andrew Jones has revealed in answer to a Parliamentary Question that 12,067 services have been cancelled on Northern routes since April this year.

Reader Comments:

Views expressed in submitted comments are that of the author, and not necessarily shared by Railnews.

  • Andrew Gwilt, Benfleet Essex

    I still would think that Chris Grayling should resign. At let someone who has more experience that could take over his job as transport secretary.

  • John Harper, Kelso

    With radios, and far better tracking methods the traditional safety role of Guards is really reducd to safe boarding and despatch of trains. I would have more respect for the RMT if it would come forward with sensible proposals to address this. In my view it is about looking at stations (sight lines types of services etc) and passenger volumes. Busy commuter stations lend themselves to platform despatching by station staff, rural to driver only and some it would be driver opening doors guard closing. The money saved in reducing guards should be spent on more BTP officers which really addresses passenger safety while on board.

  • Neil Palmer, Waterloo

    Dear Mick Cash. To negotiate both parties must be willing to give on something. It's blatantly obvious to the general public, especially long suffering passengers, that the RMT is totally unwilling to bend on anything and still thinks they can carry on living with Victorian Era methods of railway operation. Maybe we should be looking forward to your replacement instead of Grayling.