Labour calls for rail public ownership ‘as quickly as possible’
The party made a re-nationalisation pitch as the state took over running of the East Coast franchise.
Jeremy Corbyn has insisted train companies need to be put under public ownership as soon as possible as Labour launched a Rail Mayhem campaign day.
Commuters across the country are being targeted by activists on the first working day that the East Coast mainline comes back under public control.
Trains on the route between London and Scotland are being run by the Department for Transport’s (DfT) Operator of Last Resort, branded as
London North Eastern Railway (LNER), following the failure of the Virgin Trains East Coast (VTEC) franchise.
Speaking after handing out leaflets at London’s King’s Cross station, Mr Corbyn said the rail system needed change.
Today marks the first working day since the East Coast Line returned, temporarily, to public hands.— Jeremy Corbyn (@jeremycorbyn) June 25, 2018
This morning, Labour campaigned across the country for the whole railway network to be brought back, permanently, into public hands and run for people, not profiteers. #RailMayhem pic.twitter.com/W80i5QOyRI
“We need it publicly owned and under public control, and we need it as quickly as possible.
“It really is time that we the public owned and ran the railways.
It is remarkable that the Secretary of State for Transport, Chris Grayling, denied that he is the person with overall responsibility for running the railway. More evidence that he has lost control and should resign. #r4today #RailMayhem— Andy McDonald MP (@AndyMcDonaldMP) June 25, 2018
“We pay for the infrastructure, we do the investment, we own an awful lot of it, we should own the whole lot.”
Andy McDonald, Labour’s shadow transport secretary, repeated calls for Transport Secretary Chris Grayling to quit.
Yesterday, the East Coast Line was brought back into public hands temporarily. Today @UKLabour are campaigning against rip-off railway privatisation.— Jeremy Corbyn (@jeremycorbyn) June 25, 2018
We're demanding the whole network is brought back permanently and run for people, not profiteers.https://t.co/OSqVdqQYtD
He said: “The rail mayhem that we’ve seen on our railways was caused by one man and that man is Chris Grayling.
“Passengers across the country are right to be angry at the way he has handled the latest in a long run of rail fiascos.
“Chris Grayling has lost all credibility and it’s time for him to go.”
The campaign day sees more than 200 events take place to leaflet commuters.