Mick Lynch apologises for upcoming train strikes disruption for Christmas time

Mick Lynch has responded to his new nickname 'Mick Grinch' with characteristic bluntness.

The RMT union boss was given the moniker after he announced a fresh round of strike action over jobs, pay and conditions over the Christmas period. The strikes will take place on 13 and 14 December; 16 and 17 December; 3 and 4 January; 6 and 7 January and will involve some 40,000 staff from Network Rail and 14 train companies.

But Lynch rejected the name after a journalist asked him if he was "proud" of it.

"I expect that from yourself," he said. "That's the sort of quality journalism I've come to expect from your particular dark corner of Fleet Street."

"You can call us what you want".

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"I'm not the Grinch, I'm a trade union official, and I'm determined to get a deal," he said to other reporters.

He accused the government of "directly interfering" in negotiations and said the last two weeks of talks with Network Rail had not achieved a breakthrough.

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