Rail Franchising

Part of Oral Answers to Questions — Transport – in the House of Commons at 9:30 am on 28th January 2016.

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Photo of Patrick McLoughlin Patrick McLoughlin The Secretary of State for Transport 9:30 am, 28th January 2016

I welcome the hon. Gentleman to his post. As I said last week in a transport debate, I hope he lasts longer than his predecessor—[Interruption.] I think there was somebody in between. The contract to which he refers did have a break clause for First, but it was negotiated by the Labour Government. Therefore, they caused that break and it was part of their contract.

I am pleased to be able to remind the hon. Gentleman of the words of Sadiq Khan, who I believe has an important role in the Labour party—I hope it is a very unsuccessful one in a few weeks’ time. He said:

“one reason we are able to invest record sums in our railway service is the revenues that the franchises bring in and the premiums that they pay”.—[Hansard, 1 July 2009; Vol. 495, c. 430.]

He said that when he was in a position of responsibility: that of Transport Minister.