Labour MPs defy Keir Starmer to show support for rail strike

Labour MPs defy Keir Starmer to show support for rail strike
Birmingham New Street station deserted as rail strike begins

As the RMT rail unit begins the first of three days of strike action this week, some Labour MPs have joined striking workers on the picket line to show support that has not been forthcoming from leader Sir Keir Starmer.

RMT union members nationwide are striking today in a dispute over job cuts, pay freezes and working conditions.

More than 50,000 rail workers are striking on Tuesday, Thursday and Saturday this week causing havoc to transport across the country.

The Labour leader has failed to back the RMT in its strike action and actively told frontbench Labour MPs they should not be on picket lines.

Sign up to our free Indy100 weekly newsletter

On the first day of strikes, several Labour MPs, including some frontbenchers, have defied Starmer by joining picket lines to show their solidarity with striking rail workers.

Kate Osborne, a parliamentary aide to shadow Northern Ireland secretary Peter Kyle, joined the RMT picket line in Bromely, writing she “will always stand on the side of the workers”.

Opposition Whip and frontbencher Navendu Mishra defied Starmer’s request and also stood alongside striking workers.

On Twitter, he posted a photo and wrote: “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.”

Sign up to our new free Indy100 weekly newsletter

Beth Winter, the Labour MP for Cynon Valley, joined the picket line today at London Victoria station, along with other Labour MPs, including Zarah Sultana – the Labour MP for Coventry South.

She wrote on Twitter: “Great to join striking @RMTunion members at Victoria Station this morning alongside Socialist Campaign Group comrades.”

Labour MP for Wansbeck, Ian Lavery, was on the picket line with striking workers in Morpeth and said they had “great support”.

It is thought any disciplinary action for Labour MPs who went against Starmer will come after the final strike day on Saturday.

Have your say in our news democracy. Click the upvote icon at the top of the page to help raise this article through the indy100 rankings.

The Conversation (0)