Sir Keir Starmer has “not lost control of his MPs” after dozens of people turned out to show support for the railway workers despite his directive, a Labor newspaper head insisted. strong.
Shadow Secretary of State David Lammy said that “a serious party of government does not engage in picky lines”.
The Labor leader has faced criticism for his lack of clear support for industrial action of the Union for Rail, Maritime and Transport (RMT) on employment, wages and conditions.
Worried to avoid refueling Tory claims that Labor in favor of disruptive walks, Mr. Keir sought to blame the government and argued that he did not want the strikes to continue as he pressed for a negotiated settlement.
But deputy leader Angela Rayner explicitly supports industrial action, arguing that workers “have no choice”.
Scottish Labor leader Anas Sarwar also distanced himself from Sir Keir’s position by going to a line to show his “solidarity”.
Asked what consequences would be for MPs taking part in the strikes, Mr Lammy told the BBC: “I doubt that the chief will speak to them next week and make it clear that a political party serious government does not join picky lines.”
Mr Lammy later said: “Keir Starmer did not lose control of his own MPs.
“We’ve just seen that the parties that lose control are the parties that lose votes, and I think it’s the Conservatives and the prime minister has lost his supporters.
“The Labor Party is in a strong position with strong leadership and a clear direction.”
He added: “There is no suggestion of an intra-party dispute.”
Earlier, speaking to Sky News’ Sophy Ridge On Sunday programme, Mr Lammy argued it was “not for Labor to interfere” in the rail dispute and said it was “a matter for the government, Network Rail and the public companies”. group”.
“We are a party that always cares about the interests of the working people, the working people who are using our transport up and down the country, who do not want to see strikes,” he said. public servants, and of course those who work in the railroad industry.
“This is a matter for the government, Network Rail and the unions themselves and what we have been absolutely clear about is that the government should take the lead and encourage negotiations that do not cause this dispute for political reasons. their own – that’s what’s going on.
“It is not for Labor to determine the outcome of this but it is for us to say, round the table, negotiate.”
He added: “There are many issues that workers are concerned about across the country.
“Not for Labor to meddle in each and every thing and pretend that we can negotiate or that we are detailed about it, we are not the truth of this.
“And if we were in government, we would turn the table, we wouldn’t play union.
“It’s the truth of being a serious opposition that wants to finally convince the British they want to run the country.”
Pressed if he would support strike actions from various unions, he said: “I realize that there is a cost of living crisis, I realize that workers are being hurt. and I realize they have a government that isn’t listening but I realize it’s a negotiation – go around the negotiating table and fix this problem.”
Also speaking to Sky News, Northern Ireland Minister Brandon Lewis said: “People have been disrupted to go to school, to medical appointments, to work.
“That’s not good for the rail, as we’ve reduced rail usage by about 25% through COVID.”
He added: “The union itself is calling for strikes.
“They want to negotiate with employers.
“Our government is the ones putting this record level of investment in the rail service and improving and modernizing it.”