Chris Grayling blunders that made everyone else in government look really good at their jobs

Conrad Duncan@theconradduncan
Friday 01 March 2019 17:00
news
Picture:(PA Wire/PA Images/Twitter)

Chris Grayling has had a very bad day.

It started with the news that his “rushed” probation reforms cost taxpayers half a billion pounds.

Then it got worse - when it was revealed the government will pay £33m to Eurotunnel, due to his handling of contracts for extra ferry services in the event of a no-deal Brexit.

Grayling was justice secretary when the probation reforms were introduced.

Although the reforms were designed to save money, the government was forced to bail out failing companies and cancel contracts early, costing taxpayers more than £467m.

In December, Grayling’s transport department awarded lucrative ferry contracts to three firms, but Eurotunnel criticised the process as “secretive” and launched a legal claim against the government.

They dropped the claim on Friday today, in return for £33m.

And all of this happened just two weeks after former cabinet minister and fellow Conservative Michael Portillo called him “the most incompetent minister of all time.”

Grayling’s many critics were more than happy to celebrate his latest mistakes.

And there’s also this brutal assessment of his career from James O’Brien.

Today’s double disaster is part of a long list of Grayling failures as well.

Here are just some of his most notable lowlights:

  • Grayling introduced a ban on family members sending books to prisoners in 2012, which was deemed unlawful by the High Court.
  • Last year, his Department of Transport was criticised for failing to act quickly to stop severe rail disruptions from a change to train timetables. The Glaister Report later concluded that millions of commuters were let down by failures across the rail industry and by the Department for Transport. 
  • In December, he quietly awarded a contract for no-deal ferries to a company with no ships and no experience of running a ferry service. The handling of which, as mentioned previously, resulted in a £33m payout to EuroTunnel.
  • As justice secretary, Grayling helped introduce fees of up to £1,200 for launching employment tribunals against bosses which the Supreme Court ruled unlawful, forcing the government to repay £27m to employees.
  • In 2015, he led a government bid for a £6m deal to provide advice and training for jails in Saudi Arabia, which was condemned by Amnesty International due to the country’s record of human rights abuses and later scrapped.
  • He was transport secretary during the “bailout” of the East Coast rail franchise, which Labour said cost taxpayers £2bn.

With such an embarrassing track record, some people were wondering how Chris Grayling still has a government job.

So no matter how bad your day is, just remember that it's probably going a bit better than Chris Grayling's.

More: Transport secretary Chris Grayling says he is 'not a specialist in rail matters'

Trending