Rail chaos: Boris Johnson goads Keir Starmer over RMT strike action bringing trains to a standstill


Keir Starmer has ‘hopelessly contorted’ position on rail strikes with ‘one foot in the RMT union’s camp and the other goodness knows where,’ Grant Shapps says

  • Sir Keir Starmer was accused of having ‘one foot in the RMT camp’ by Tory MPs
  • The vast majority of Labour MPs abstained against a vote condemning the strike
  • Sir Keir told parliament yesterday that he did not wish the rail strikes to proceed 

Keir Starmer was accused of having ‘one foot in the RMT camp’ as the vast majority of Labour MPs yesterday abstained on a vote condemning next week’s rail strikes.

Thirteen Labour MPs, including former frontbenchers Rebecca Long Bailey and Rachael Maskell, even voted against the motion.

Transport Secretary Grant Shapps, who repeatedly pointed out that Sir Keir was absent from the debate, said the Labour leader ‘has been playing a game of real-life Twister – his position hopelessly contorted, with one foot in the RMT camp and the other goodness knows where, stretching credibility’.

Sir Keir Starmer, pictured yesterday at Prime Minister Questions, was asked repeatedly if he wanted to condemn next week's rail strikes

Sir Keir Starmer, pictured yesterday at Prime Minister Questions, was asked repeatedly if he wanted to condemn next week’s rail strikes 

The PM asked Sir Keir: 'He can oppose Labour¿s rail strikes right now, he can disagree, I give him that opportunity, let him disagree with the union barons who would add to people¿s costs in the coming weeks'

The PM asked Sir Keir: ‘He can oppose Labour’s rail strikes right now, he can disagree, I give him that opportunity, let him disagree with the union barons who would add to people’s costs in the coming weeks’

His motion had asked MPs to ‘recognise the vital role’ of railways in daily life, and recognise the impact of the planned strikes on school exams and the economy as a whole. But not a single MP from Labour voted for the motion. Sir Keir clashed with Boris Johnson over the issue in the Commons yesterday.

Speaking at PMQs, Mr Johnson told the Labour leader: ‘He has the chance now to clear it up: he can oppose Labour’s rail strikes right now, he can disagree, I give him that opportunity, let him disagree with the union barons who would add to people’s costs in the coming weeks.’

Sir Keir replied: ‘I don’t want the strikes to go ahead. He does so he can feed on the division.’

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