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Manuel Cortes lambasts Grayling for denying Scotland representation on LNER Board

24 June 2018

Manuel Cortes today lambasted Transport Minister Chris Grayling for denying Scotland representation on the board of the new publicly owned London and North Eastern Railways (LNER) which this weekend begins running trains on the East Coast Mainline, serving stations including Edinburgh, Aberdeen, and Inverness.

 
Cortes said, “It is typical of the pure anti-public sentiment held by privateer Tory Grayling that LNER will be running trains across Scotland without any Scottish representation on its board.

“But it’s also indicative that whatever Ruth Davidson thinks, Westminster Tories hold Scotland in contempt. Imagine taking East Coast back into public ownership and not even considering Scotland should have a right to a voice at the table. The man’s not fit to run a bath let alone a railway

“The publicly owned operator formed after Graylings cronies in Virgin and Stagecoach realised they couldn’t make enough profits from running the line - will be running trains from London through Edinburgh all the way to Aberdeen and Inverness. These services are essential for the Scottish economy and for remote Highland communities. Grayling seems to have somehow forgotten this as he is not allowing the Scottish government a seat on the board of this new publicly owned company. In fact Westminster should go further and give the Scottish Parliament a binding say over the future of services on this route."

“The East Coast Mainline has over 300 miles of track in Scotland. When LNER was announced TSSA, and the Scottish Transport Minister, immediately called for Scotland to have representation on the board.

This is only fair. Scottish taxpayers fund the line and Scottish commuters and Scottish businesses rely on the trains to run on time. But it seems like failing Grayling is more interested in “jobs for the boys” – appointing a former managing director of John Lewis and current Tory Mayor of the West Midlands, Andy Stewart, to advise the board, but no-one from Scotland where the railway actually runs! You couldn’t make it up!

“I am confident that Humza Yousaf is as frustrated as I am at the contemptuous way Grayling is treating the Scottish taxpayers and commuters and have no doubt that he, and passengers in Scotland, will back our repeated call for representation.”

 

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