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Chris Grayling planning to use hypnosis on Theresa May to persuade her to let him keep his job. Oh, all right. It's a stock image from the Evening Standard.

Chris Grayling planning to use hypnosis on Theresa May to persuade her to let him keep his job.
Oh, all right. It’s a stock image from the Evening Standard.

Chris Grayling is facing calls for his resignation as Transport Secretary after it was revealed that he opposed handing over control of suburban rail routes to Transport for London (TfL) because it would put the service in the hands of a Labour Mayor of London.

He made the admission in a private letter to Boris Johnson three years ago, while Mr Johnson was London Mayor. As Justice Secretary (at the time), Mr Grayling had a seat on the Cabinet, where any decision would have been made.

As Transport Secretary, he formally rejected a plan to hand over suburban rail services to TfL as each franchise came under review – in a reversal of a policy agreed by Mr Johnson and former Transport Secretary Patrick McLoughlin.

At the time, both men denied claims the policy was an empty promise intended to improve Conservative prospects for retaining the London Mayoralty. Now, because of Mr Grayling’s decision, those words ring hollow.

Former Conservative minister Bob Neill called for Mr Grayling’s resignation. He said: “My discussions with him indicate to me that he’s acted for party reasons and not acted in the interests of London commuters.

“It’s pretty clear that he has a dogmatic opposition to rail devolution and I don’t think that’s a legitimate basis on which to take a decision.

“It demonstrates that he’s acted extremely badly. I don’t have confidence any more in him as Secretary of State.”

Strong words, from a fellow Conservative!

In all honesty, Grayling has it coming.

His boneheaded plan to let a single, private, company run a new rail service from Oxford to Cambridge, including the maintenance of all the infrastructure concerned (announced yesterday, December 6), is a recipe for disaster, as discussed on This Blog.

His failures as Justice Secretary and at the DWP are well-documented.

He is a poor excuse for a statesman.

How will he dodge the bullet sending him to the back benches?

The Transport Secretary was today accused of putting party politics ahead of commuters after a leaked letter revealed he opposed handing over control of suburban rail to keep it “out of the clutches” of Labour.

Chris Grayling formally rejected Sadiq Khan’s bid to take over commuter routes yesterday when he dismissed the plan as “deckchair shifting” with no real improvement for passengers.

But in a letter written before the new Mayor took over, he admitted he was against rail devolution to keep services away from any future Labour mayor, rather than because of the impact on commuters.

Source: Transport Secretary Chris Grayling blocked takeover of London’s suburban rail routes to keep trains out of Labour’s control, leaked letter reveals

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