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NOTG Parliamentary update

12 January 2018

In both the House of Commons and the House of Lords this week we have been watching debates that affect our members closely.

The battle to save British Transport Police (BTP) hit the Lords on Wednesday night led by Lord George Foulkes of Cumnock who I’d really like to thank for his efforts. We’ve campaigned hard against the Scottish Government’s political efforts to break up BTP and force its merger with Police Scotland. So I was delighted to hear some common sense talked in the House of Lords on Wednesday night.

There’s a long list of people who agree with us, including BTP Officers and our members, its staff, Her Majesty’s Inspectorate of Constabulary, train operating companies, and over 10,000 members of the public in Scotland who signed our petition against the merger.

George was right to say breaking up the BTP is a gift to terrorists who – like trains – don’t stop at the border. It is now in the Lords’ hands and they must use their power to pressure Transport Secretary Chris Grayling to refuse to transfer BTP assets to the Scottish Government and so keep BTP as it is now – the best functioning police force in the UK.

And in the Commons as well as a high profile debate on the appalling Tory mismanagement of our NHS with Andy McDonald, Labour’s Transport Secretary also rallying for a publicly owned railways run in the interest of the public not private profiteers or other country’s state rail operators.

We’re seeing appalling services, rising fares and Train Operating Companies being let off the hook! Rail franchising under the Tories is indefensible, they cancelled the planned electrification process that would have upgraded lines in the North, midlands and Wales over the summer and have made no apologies for the fare rises. The debate on rail franchising put by Labour was passed without a division, with the Tories not voting. This is another indication that they are in government by name only and hold no power.
You can watch the televised debate in Parliament in full here: https://goo.gl/n5zbUW

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