As millions Britons suffer in rail strike, 25 Left-wing MPs defy their party by joining picket lines

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The information/labour/index.html” id=”mol-ef7b7240-f1a7-11ec-a741-77c335a28c05″>Labour Party was in chaos over crippling rail strikes final night time.

As militant unions prompted journey distress for millions, information/keir-starmer/index.html” id=”mol-ef5b6720-f1a7-11ec-a741-77c335a28c05″>Keir Starmer confronted a mutiny by his personal MPs.

At least 25 of them ignored disciplinary warnings and joined the picket lines whilst their constituents have been struggling to get to work.

And senior figures, together with Sir Keir’s personal deputy information/angela-rayner/index.html” id=”mol-ef47b810-f1a7-11ec-a741-77c335a28c05″>Angela Rayner, backed the RMT union in its bid to convey the nation to its knees.

The Labour chief was accused of going into ‘hiding’ after he refused to touch upon the most important industrial dispute for 30 years.

Boris Johnson mentioned the strike was ‘wrong and unnecessary’ and referred to as for a return to negotiations. Transport Secretary Grant Shapps accused Labour and the unions of ‘taking us back to the bad old days’ of the Seventies.

He added: ‘I pity poor Keir Starmer, a man trying to ride two horses at once.

‘He knows this strike is pointlessly destructive but his warning has been flatly ignored by shadow frontbenchers and backbenchers in thrall to unions who are prepared to place sectional interests above those of the country.

‘He is facing a crisis of authority. The Left senses his weakness and is humiliating him with every Labour MP’s look on a picket line. He has misplaced his grip on his personal party.’

Yesterday’s strike by 40,000 rail staff prompted large journey disruption, with fewer than 20 per cent of companies thought to have run.

Red line: Labour MPs at London’s Victoria station yesterday, from left: Beth Winter (Cynon Valley), Kim Johnson (Liverpool Riverside), Rachael Maskell (York Central), Ian Mearns (Gateshead), Richard Burgon (Leeds East), Zarah Sultana (Coventry South), Ian Byrne (Liverpool West Derby), Rebecca Long-Bailey (Salford and Eccles), Dan Carden (Liverpool Walton), Paula Barker (Liverpool Wavertree)

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Out on strike, but paid greater than lecturers and nurses 

By Andy Jehring

Rail unions introduced Britain to a standstill yesterday to demand more money regardless of a few of their members incomes huge salaries.

Train drivers have a median wage of £59,000 – which is round £5,000 greater than the pay of a mean solicitor or a significant in the Army.

Rail staff in common earn £44,000 on common based on the Government, which is larger than lecturers (£41,800), the Royal Navy (£36,666), and an Army sergeant (£35,853).

The RMT claims this determine will not be consultant of these putting as the vast majority of drivers who earn essentially the most should not on the picket line, whereas low-paid workers reminiscent of cleaners are.

It mentioned the median wage of these protesting was £33,000 – however that’s nonetheless over 25 per cent larger than the median annual pay of UK staff (£25,971) and practically double a care employee’s common pay (£17,000).

Even taking the union barons’ determine as gospel would nonetheless imply that these on strike earn roughly the identical as most nurses and a bit of greater than a junior physician who’ve gone by seven years of coaching.

It means low-skilled staff already incomes greater than frontline NHS workers are holding Britain to ransom to try to get a 7 per cent pay increase. This is regardless of the Government already offering £16billion in order that not a single rail employee needed to be furloughed by the pandemic.

Travellers have been left stranded or pressured to take to congested roads because the strike noticed rail bosses cancel all companies on some lines and shut down early.

Commuters face additional disruption at present forward of one other all-out strike tomorrow in a bitter dispute about pay and rail reforms. As the Prime Minister vowed to ‘stay the course’ in opposition to union militants amid fears that strikes might unfold like wildfire by the general public sector:

  • RMT boss Mick Lynch referred to as on union bosses to co-ordinate industrial motion throughout each city and metropolis to trigger most disruption;
  • Some 19 of the Labour MPs who joined the picket lines yesterday have declared practically £900,000 in funding from commerce unions, evaluation of the register of members’ monetary pursuits confirmed;
  • A YouGov ballot discovered the general public opposed yesterday’s strike by a margin of 45:37;
  • Network Rail boss Andrew Haines revealed negotiators had obtained inside a ‘gnat’s whisker’ of a deal on Monday earlier than the RMT determined to press forward with the strikes;
  • A former prime aide to Sir Keir mentioned he would face an ‘explosion’ if he tried to sack Labour MPs who defied him to again the strikes;
  • Downing Street warned that public sector pay can be held properly under inflation;
  • Union dinosaur Arthur Scargill joined a rail picket line in West Yorkshire;
  • London commuters confronted further distress as 10,000 Underground staff walked out in a separate dispute;
  • The Communications Workers Union balloted 115,000 postal staff over strike motion following a 2 per cent pay provide from bosses.

Sir Keir yesterday took a vow of silence on the rail dispute, with aides saying he would make no public remark both for or in opposition to the strikes.

A spokesman for the Labour chief mentioned: ‘Unlike the Government, our focus is firmly on the public. The Tories are in charge – the responsibility for this week’s chaos lies firmly with them.’

Mrs Rayner took benefit of the management vacuum on the prime of the Labour Party to clarify she backed the strikes, that are on account of be repeated on Saturday in addition to tomorrow.

‘Workers have been left with no choice,’ she mentioned.

‘No one takes strike action lightly. I will always defend their absolute right to do so for fairness at work.’

Scottish Labour chief Anas Sarwar additionally defied Sir Keir to again the strike, which has left no rail companies working north of Glasgow at present.

Mr Sarwar joined strikers on a picket line in Edinburgh to indicate ‘solidarity’, and mentioned the disaster was ‘entirely of the Government’s making’.

Sir Keir’s workplace advised Labour frontbenchers on Monday that they’d be disciplined in the event that they joined picket lines outdoors stations.

But at the least 4 members of Sir Keir’s prime crew ignored the warning, together with shadow minister Alex Sobel, whip Navendu Mishra and parliamentary aides Kate Osborne and Paula Barker.

Mr Mishra accused ministers of ‘treachery’, including: ‘As a proud trade unionist, I stand with all workers on our railway network who are taking industrial action to fight for their jobs and keep passengers safe.’

Others joining picket lines throughout the nation included former management contender Rebecca Long Bailey and former shadow cupboard members John McDonnell, Diane Abbott and Richard Burgon.

Sir Keir ordered his MPs final week to not condemn the rail strikes. But he has additionally refused to say whether or not he helps the dispute.

Sharon Graham of the Unite union mentioned: ‘The Labour Party was founded by the trade unions and we expect Labour MPs to defend workers, by words and by actions. To instruct Labour MPs not to be on picket lines speaks volumes. You don’t lead by hiding. No one respects that.’

Labour MPs on the rail picket lines…and a few of them even obtained a share of £890,000 from unions

By Daniel Martin and Kumail Jaffer

Labour MPs who defied their chief to hitch rail strikers yesterday have obtained practically £900,000 in union funding, evaluation reveals.

Sir Keir Starmer has advised his frontbench they need to keep away from picket lines after the RMT launched the most important rail strike since 1989.

But – in a severe menace to his authority – at the least 4 of them ignored him. Scottish Labour chief Anas Sarwar additionally met putting staff in Edinburgh.

Less surprisingly, quite a few hard-left Labour backbenchers additionally joined the strike motion, together with former shadow dwelling secretary Diane Abbott.

She tweeted: ‘On the RMT union picket line at the Seven Sisters depot. (But don’t inform Keir Starmer).’ Ten MPs from the Socialist Campaign Group – together with Jeremy Corbyn supporters Rebecca Long-Bailey and Richard Burgon – proudly posed for photos with putting RMT members at Victoria Station in London.

Diane Abbott: MP for Hackney North and Stoke Newington

Diane Abbott: MP for Hackney North and Stoke Newington

Corbynista: John McDonnell, Left-wing MP for Hayes and Harlington

Corbynista: John McDonnell, Left-wing MP for Hayes and Harlington

Mick Whitley: MP for Birkenhead

Mick Whitley: MP for Birkenhead

Andy McDonald MP: Middlesbrough

Andy McDonald MP: Middlesbrough

A complete of 25 Labour MPs have been pictured on picket lines yesterday.

Analysis discovered that 19 of those MPs have obtained donations from the unions totalling £890,717. Tory MP Gareth Bacon mentioned: ‘Weak Keir Starmer’s authority is shot. As these figures present, Labour MPs are clearly on the aspect of the militant union barons filling their coffers relatively than laborious working commuters merely attempting to get to work.’

The donations have been all listed in the Register of Members’ Financial Interests. Some have been direct private donations, whereas others have been to constituency events and others have been for chairing all-party teams and different administrative prices.

Top of the record by far was hard-Left MP Mrs Long-Bailey, who stood for the Labour management after the resignation of Mr Corbyn. The MP for Salford and Eccles declared £345,325 from unions between 2015 and 2021, a lot of it across the time of her management marketing campaign in early 2020.

Most of her donations got here from Unite, the union previously headed by Len McCluskey. She additionally obtained money from the Communication Workers Union (CWU), the Fire Brigades Union (FBU) and the RMT.

Despite the funding, nevertheless, Mrs Long-Bailey misplaced to Sir Keir in the management race. Yesterday she tweeted: ‘I was out on the picket line at Victoria Station in London this morning in with RMT union workers and Socialist Campaign Group colleagues. Solidarity to all on strike today. All they want is fair pay and to protect jobs and services.’ She accomplished the message with an emoji of a raised fist.

Next was Richard Burgon, MP for Leeds East, one other hard-Left Labour member who got here a distant third when he stood for deputy chief. He declared £97,219.52 in union donations between 2015 and 2022. Again, a lot of the money was from Unite however he additionally obtained money from the GMB.

Ian Lavery: MP for Wansbeck since 2010

Ian Lavery: MP for Wansbeck since 2010

Kate Osborne: MP for Jarrow since 2019

Kate Osborne: MP for Jarrow since 2019

Alex Sobel: MP for Leeds North West and shadow environment minister

Alex Sobel: MP for Leeds North West and shadow atmosphere minister

Navendu Mishra: Opposition Whip and MP for Stockport. Lloyd Russell-Moyle: MP for Brighton Kemptown

Navendu Mishra: Opposition Whip and MP for Stockport. Lloyd Russell-Moyle: MP for Brighton Kemptown

Yesterday he tweeted: ‘Great to pop to the picket line at Victoria Station this morning with other Labour MPs from the Socialist Campaign Group to show solidarity with RMT union workers forced by this Tory government into strike action to defend their pay, jobs and conditions.’

Ian Mearns, the Labour MP for Gateshead, declared £86,375 from the RMT between 2016 and 2020.

This was for ‘administration and coordination of the RMT Parliamentary Group, which I chair’.

Other high-profile union supporters embody John McDonnell, who obtained £54,454.97 in union donations between 2014 and 2021.

The former shadow chancellor accepted most of his donations from Unite, however he additionally took money from the GMB, CWU, FBU and the RMT. Yesterday he tweeted: ‘Proud to join the RMT picket line this morning at West Ruislip in my [West London] borough. Solidarity to RMT union.’

Sir Keir’s workplace ordered all shadow ministers and junior parliamentary personal secretaries (PPSs) to keep away from the picket lines. The order said: ‘Please be reminded that frontbenchers including PPSs’ shouldn’t be on picket lines.’

But 4 did so – shadow atmosphere minister Alex Sobel, opposition whip Navendu Mishra, shadow defence PPS Paula Barker and shadow Northern Ireland PPS Kate Osborne. And though she didn’t attend a picket line, deputy Labour chief Angela Rayner pointedly tweeted: ‘No one takes strike action lightly. I will always defend their absolute right to do so for fairness at work.’

Margaret Greenwood: MP for Wirral West and former teacher

Margaret Greenwood: MP for Wirral West and former instructor

Nadia Whittome MP: Did not obtain any union <a href=money” class=”blkBorder img-share” type=”max-width:100%” />

Nadia Whittome MP: Did not obtain any union money

Clive Lewis: Has been MP for Norwich South since 2015

Clive Lewis: Has been MP for Norwich South since 2015

Tahir Ali: MP for Birmingham Hall Green since 2019

Tahir Ali: MP for Birmingham Hall Green since 2019

All out: Scottish Labour’s Anas Sarwar snubs Starmer

All out: Scottish Labour’s Anas Sarwar snubs Starmer

Sir Keir didn’t tweet concerning the strike yesterday, and is considered ready till after the tip of the commercial motion to decide on disciplinary motion.

Asked whether or not people can be punished, Labour’s shadow Treasury minister Pat McFadden advised Sky news: ‘That’s a matter for the whips and for Keir Starmer.’

Referring to the Scottish Labour chief, Miss Abbott tweeted: ‘What is Keir Starmer going to do, remove Anas as leader?’ Sharon Graham, common secretary of Unite, mentioned: ‘The Labour Party was founded by the trade unions and we expect Labour MPs to defend workers, by words and by actions. To instruct Labour MPs not to be on picket lines with workers speaks volumes.’

Most of the Labour MPs who’ve been pictured on the picket lines are members of the hard-Left Socialist Campaign Group.

They embody former shadow cupboard members beneath Mr Corbyn, together with Miss Abbott, Mr Burgon, Mrs Long-Bailey, Clive Lewis, Mr McDonnell, Dan Carden, Andy McDonald and Ian Lavery.

The record additionally consists of Tahir Ali, Ian Byrne, Kim Johnson, Zarah Sultana, Rachael Maskell, Mr Mearns, Bell Ribeiro-Addy, Lloyd Russell-Moyle, Beth Winter, Mick Whitley, Nadia Whittome, Margaret Greenwood and Mohammad Yasin. Including the members of Sir Keir’s frontbench crew, that brings the full to 25.

Miss Winter, Miss Whittome and Mr Byrne didn’t obtain any union money. It is unclear if one other three got money.

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