Tory bosses’ bizarre begging letter as Boris Johnson is accused of wanting train strikes


Keir Starmer said the Prime Minister “wants the strikes to continue” so he can “feed off the division” when the country grinds to a halt

Tory bosses sent a bizarre begging letter to supporters of this week’s train strikes – after Boris Johnson was accused of wanting industrial action.

Ministers have failed to meet with unions and employers over the threat of strikes, despite Labor urging them to mediate in the talks.

And Keir Starmer today accused Mr Johnson of wanting to continue the strike so he could “feed off the division”.

This week the government has been pursuing a series of so-called “wedge issues” – including the Rwanda refugee plan, the Northern Ireland Protocol and holding Commons debates on train strikes – that are dividing public opinion and diverting focus from the Prime Minister’s Partygate woes.

Campaigning in Wakefield ahead of Thursday’s by-election, Mr Starmer said: “The Prime Minister wants the strikes to continue.

“He wants the country to come to a standstill so he can feed off the division.

“The question for the Prime Minister is why are you not lifting a finger to solve these problems?”

Boris Johnson’s party sent a bizarre begging email to supporters



But despite ministers’ inaction, an email sent to Tory supporters this week branded the planned action as “workers’ strikes” and urged people to sign a petition against them.

And it is asking for donations to “fund our campaign against Labor strikes”.

Mr Starmer said of the rail strikes: “My position and the position of the Labor Party is that I do not want these strikes to take place.

“I would like all parties at the negotiating table to find a solution even at this late hour.

“But like the British public, I am frustrated because the government is sitting by and not lifting a finger to resolve these strikes.”

Union leaders yesterday confirmed the rail and tube strikes would go ahead next week after talks failed to resolve a bitter dispute over wages, jobs and working conditions.

The Rail, Maritime and Transport Union (RMT) said it had held high-level talks with Network Rail, rail operators and the London Underground in recent weeks.

Secretary-General Mick Lynch said: “Despite the best efforts of our negotiators, no viable solutions to the disputes have been found.”

A spokesman for the Department of Transport said: “Strikes should always be a last resort, not the first, so it is extremely disappointing and premature for the RMT to take industrial action.”

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