A senior minister has been compelled to backtrack after wrongly claiming the federal government is negotiating with rail unions in a bid to stop additional strikes.
Simon Clarke, the chief secretary to the Treasury, made the feedback on Sky Information forward of the latest walkout deliberate by the RMT union tomorrow in a dispute over pay and jobs.
He mentioned: “The commerce union motion are in the end I feel behaving fairly aggressively in the meanwhile and we’re going to see a number of distress for folks and it’s avoidable distress.
“The federal government is attempting to barter in good religion with the commerce unions, as are our companions like Community Rail and we’re seeing, I’m afraid, what’s a fairly politicised try to make capital from that.”
His feedback had been at odds with transport secretary Grant Shapps, who has repeatedly rejected calls by Labour and the unions to get around the negotiating desk and strike a deal to stop additional strikes.
Talking final month, Shapps mentioned: “I don’t meet with them as a result of it’s the job of the employers and the employers do meet with them.
“That is an excuse, a stunt really, by the commerce unions, one way or the other saying that if we might meet head to head, it makes all of the distinction.”
And on Sunday, RMT normal secretary Mick Lynch mentioned: “I’ve spoken to all of the ministers up to now [but] not within the final six to 9 months.”
Requested on LBC if he has had any talks with the federal government in regards to the strikes, Lynch mentioned: “Not on this concern, no. None in any way.”
The Division for Transport confirmed to HuffPost UK that their coverage was nonetheless to encourage the commerce unions and employers to barter a deal.
Clarke later clarified his feedback on Twitter.
He mentioned: “We agree a negotiating mandate with Community Rail who’re working exhausting to ship a good consequence for workers that can be inexpensive for passengers and the taxpayer.”