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TSSA leader meets Labour front bencher to rally for rail in Leicester

2 August 2017

TSSA General Secretary, Manuel Cortes will be in Leicester this evening to meet Shadow Cabinet member John Ashworth to begin to extend our union campaign against the Tory Government's cancellation of the electrification of rail lines into the Midlands.

Cortes will meet the Labour MP for Leicester South and Shadow Health Secretary to enlistihis support to mount a people-powered campaign against the Tory U-turn and to show electrification of rail tracks to the Midlands and beyond is a key political priority for Labour.

Shadow Transport Secretary, Andy McDonnell said today, "The Government’s disgraceful U-turn on their promise to deliver electrification on the Midland Mainline, Trans-Pennine and Great Western routes will threaten economic growth in areas of England and Wales already suffering from poor connectivity and underinvestment.

“Pulling the plug on electrification shows the Tories’ disregard for Wales and Yorkshire, which will continue to suffer from underinvestment, and proves the ‘Midlands Engine’ and the ‘Northern Powerhouse’ are just more empty slogans from this Government."

Said Jon Ashworth, “Despite cross-Party support on the electrification of Midland Main Line the U-turn by the Government is a kick in the teeth for Leicestershire, and it should think again.”

Said Manuel Cortes, "Transport Secretary, Chris Grayling disgracefully cancelled the much needed upgrading on these mainlines as Parliament went into recess. But we don't ned parliament to hold them to account. I'm delighted Andy McDonnell has today joined the condemnation of yet another Tory U-turn. They've done so many now, they must be getting dizzy and the public backlash against Grayling's bad decision to keep too many of our regional railways in the dark ages, will make the Tories feel punch drunk.

"Modern Britain needs modern railways with modern rail speeds. Commuters know it. Rail unions know it. Labour knows it. Only the out of touch Tories don't get it. I only contacted Jon Ashworth this morning to see if he could meet up. The fact that he has been able to clear his diary to meet me this evening shows you how seriously he and his constituents are taking the Tories rail fail in Leicester.

"Labour's 2017 manifesto has committed to bringing Midland rail companies back into British public ownership when the franchises expire. And we will now be working to ensure that the next Labour manifesto prognoses to reverse the Tory's broken promises and honour the commitment made to electrify the Midland Mainline and, the other cancelled electrification programmes across Britain, as soon as the next Labour government gets into power."

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