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TSSA agree to change rail sell-off anniversary ad

14 January 2013

Rail union boss Manuel Cortes has listened to Edwina Currie and agreed to tone down a controversial ad featuring the former minister's affair with John Major.

20th anniversary of privatisation advert image

  20th anniversary of privatisation advert

She accused the TSSA of being "silly" over the wording of the ad that the Advertising Standards Authority banned over the line "It wasn't just Edwina who John Major sc***d... he also "sc****d our railways and millions of passengers".

The union general secretary said that he would talk to the ASA today about a new ad after agreeing to delete the  offending words.(see attached ad).

He wants to publish it in national newspapers on Saturday to mark the 20th anniversary of John Major's Tory government voting to sell off British Rail.

Mrs Currie said at the weekend that the union was "making a perfectly reasonable point" but the message would be ignored because the language was too offensive.

Mr Cortes said: "We agree with Edwina that the original wording may have been too strong and obscured the serious message that we are trying to put across in a humorous way.

"John Major's decision to sell off the railway has been disastrous for both passengers and taxpayers, fares have doubled and subsidy gone up fourfold. Steve Bell is one of our top political cartoonists and we want to use his skills in putting that message across to the public.* We have submitted a new ad to the ASA and hopefully we can soon reach an agreement allowing us to go ahead."

ends

* Award winning Steve Bell famously drew John Major as a hapless super-hero with his Y-fronts worn outside his trousers. In the cartoon ad, Edwina is wearing the underpants on her head.

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