Grayling: 'All smoke and mirrors'

15 August 2018

Mick Whelan, general secretary of ASLEF, the train drivers' union, told presenter Mishal Hussein on Radio 4's agenda-setting flagship news programme Today this morning that Transport Secretary Chris Grayling's proposal that rail fare and wage increases should both be linked to a lower measure of inflation [CPI rather than RPI] is a smoke and mirrors exercise designed to deflect criticism from the rail fare rises to be announced later today.

Commuters in Conservative-voting constituencies are fed up with being ripped-off by the privatised train operating companies and are calling for Britain's railways to be brought back into public ownership.

That's frightened Grayling - already on the ropes from Cabinet colleagues who have dubbed him Failing Grayling - after a summer of discontent because he is clearly not on top of his department.

'I wouldn’t trust Failing Grayling to run a model train set – let alone Britain’s complex railway. And, anyway, we have free collective bargaining in the rail industry; government is not involved. A point Grayling – and his predecessor Patrick McLoughlin – have made on more than one occasion.'

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