Rail strikes: Labour's Shadow Rail Minister 'didn't receive memo'
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Labour Shadow Rail Minister Tan Dhesi revealed there was not any “strict edict” from Labour leader Keir Starmer on not joining picket lines outside rail stations. He insisted “there wasn’t any official memo” on joining the strikers and explained this is the reason why “you’ve seen different people doing different things”.
Mr Dhesi told The News Desk: “There wasn’t any strict edict.
“If anything I didn’t receive any memo or any edict.
“Maybe I’m not up the food chain enough.
“I didn’t receive any email.
“In fact I got my teams to check through the emails.
“I did not receive a single email or message.”
When asked whether he joined the picket line, he said: “I didn’t go to the picket line.
“I was too busy trying to do my job.
“Despite all the WhatsApp and signal messages that were floating around in different individuals having different views, there wasn’t any official memo coming our.
“And that’s why you’ve seen different people doing different things.
“But there are a lot of MPs, especially amongst the Labour MPs, who have a lot of sympathy with the rail workers.
“They feel that the rail workers are not being given a decent wage.
“They feel that the rail workers are not being given the compulsory redundancies that guarantee there will not be any compulsory redundancies”.
The comments came as a number of Labour MPs were seen yesterday attending the picket lines, despite Keir Starmer’s office claiming of having told his MPs not to join rail workers on strike.
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According to his office, Keir Starmer discouraged his MPs from doing so and told his front bench: “We have robust lines. We do not want to see these strikes go ahead with the resulting disruption to the public. The government have failed to engage in any negotiations.
“However, we also must show leadership and to that end, please be reminded that frontbenchers should not be on picket lines”.
Labour MPs Diane Abbott and Kate Osborne are two of the Labour MPs who joined the picket lines and shared their solidarity with rail workers through comments on Twitter.
Ms Abbott, for instance, shared a picture of herself with RMT general Secretary Mick Lynch, which she commented: “Solidarity with RMT union members taking action to protect jobs and pay”.
Ms Osborne also tweeted a picture of herself at a picket line which was commented “always stand on the side of the workers”.
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