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Confidence in the Secretary of State for Transport

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 2:44 pm on 19th June 2018.

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Photo of Clive Efford Clive Efford Labour, Eltham 2:44 pm, 19th June 2018

I agree with my hon. Friend that the Secretary of State has to take responsibility. That is why I fully support the motion.

The Secretary of State really exposed himself by putting his particularly dogmatic approach to the franchise system ahead of the interests of passengers in a letter that he wrote on 24 April 2013 to the present Foreign Secretary when he was Mayor of London. His letter actually predicted the fact that the Tories were toast and that Labour was going to win the mayoral election. He stated that he did not want to see the London overground services in “the clutches” of a Labour mayor. That had nothing to do with what was in the interests of my constituents or anyone else who used the trains. It was pure political dogma. He was saying, “I don’t like the Labour party, so no matter how much it could improve the service for people who use the trains, we’re not going to let Labour take over the rail service.” So much for an open bidding process to run the best possible service!